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Full text of "A scriptural, ecclesiastical, and historical view of slavery, from the days of the patriarch Abraham, to the nineteenth century"

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[Third Thousand.] 


Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1864, by 


In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern Dis- 
trict of New- York. 




16 & 18 Jacob St., N. Y. 


INTRODUCTION, narrating the facts which led to the publication of 
the Pamphlet. The Letter of Request. The Answer, . . 3-5 

BIBLE VIEW OF SLAVERY in full. Definition of Slavery. A phy- 
sical but not a moral evil. Slaveholding believed by its adver- 
saries to be a sin. This is denied. The Bible must decide. The 
prophecy of Noah. The case of Abraham. Hagar. The Ten 
Commandments. Direct rules laid down by the Almighty for 
temporary slavery of the Israelites during six years, and for 
perpetual slavery of the heathen strangers. Corrective disci- 
pline authorized, but not to maim or kill. The Jubilee did not 
extend to the slaves held in perpetuity, but only to the slaves 
for a term of years, who were of the race of Israel, . . 6-11 

The coming of Christ made no change in Jewish slavery. No new 
principle was set forth. Love not inconsistent with slavery. 
St. Paul lays down rules for slavery to the Ephesians, to the 
Colossians, to Timothy, to Titus, and sends back the runaway, 
Onesimus, to his master. Objections consideredtjjff)eclaration \ 
of Independence. All men not created equal, but the contrary. J-. 
The proposition no part of the Federal Constitution. The negro \ 
is a brother, as descended from Noah, but not an equal, . . 11-33 

SLAVERY OP CIRCUMSTANCES. ^S T O man absolutely, but only rela- 
tively free. Objections resumed. Cruelty. Immorality. Lia-- 
bility to separation of husband and wife and children. Poly- 
gamy. Doctrine of the Church continued as laid down by the 

apostlesjfienefits of Southern slavery to the negro race. 

Author friendly to gradual abolition whenever the Southern 
States are willing. Reference to his former writings on the 
subject. Conclusion of the "Bible View" with prayer for 
peaceful accommodation, 33-41 

THE PROTEST of the Bishop and Clergy of Pennsylvania, . . 42-43 



ANSWER to the Protest and end of Introduction, . . . 44-50 

CHAPTER I. Position of tho Author. Friendly to peaceable and 
gradual abolition, with the consent of the Southern States, but 
opposed to the doctrine of ultra-abolitionism. Statement of the 
latter. Contrary to the Bible, the Church, the Constitution, 
and the true interest of the colored race. The Protest, a libel. 
This book, a brotherly admonition. The circumstances which 
led to the republication of the pamphlet. The right of every 
citizen to set forth his views. The same right asserted for the 
clergy as individual citizens, though political questions must not 
be brought into the Church nor her conventions. The Protest 
the result of political expediency, . ^ . . . . 61-60 

CHAPTER II. Duty of bishops to contend for religious truth, 
though not the road to popularity. The doctrine of the author 
held by all, during the first forty years of our national history. 
Held by almost all, for twenty years more. Held by his own 
Church up to 1860. Political expediency considered. Its intro- 
duction into the Church deprecated as full of danger, . . 61-65 

CHAPTER III. Arguments of the anonymous Pamphleteers. Pro- 
phecy of Noah. Degraded condition of the native Africans 
stated from Malte Brun. Bishop Newton in opposition to the 
ultra-abolitionist, 66-73 

CHAPTER IV. Hagar and Ishmael. Cruden on Jewish slavery. 

^indication of the Bible View of Slavery, . . '. . 74-77 

CHAPTER V. Objections of the anonymous pamphleteers con- 
tinued. -^The Ten Commandments;XeA.rticles of the Church on 
the Moral law. Man-stealing. The slave escaped from his mas- 
ter. Comparative view of the Mosaic, the Roman, and the 

-^Southern laws in reference to slavery. The slave a chattel in 
one respect, but a person in every other, by the whole three 
systems, ,' . ' . . 77-85 

CHAPTER VI. The code on slavery set forth at large, from the 
Institutes of Justinian. Remarks. It was more severe, on the 

-j,whole, than the Southern system. Yet it subsisted along with 
civil liberty, for many- ages, 85-92 

CHAPTER VII. : 3*T'iews of the ancient philosophers on slavery, 

represented by Aristotle, . * . '. . . . 93-98 

CHAPTER VIII.-^8!tatements of the ancient writers on slavery. 
Philo Judaeus, Tertullian, Jerome, St. Ambrose, St. Augustine, 
St. Basil, 99-104 



CHAPTER IX. The old fathers continued. St. Chrysostom, Gre- 
gory the Great. Form of deed by which he gave a slave to the 
Bishop of Porto. Prosper of Aquitaine. Isidore of Seville, . 105-109 

CHAPTER X. The Canons of the Apostles. The Clementine Con- 
stitutions. The Councils of Gangra, of Agde, of Orleans, of 
Epone, of Ma9on, of Toledo, of Narbonne, of Berghamstead, of 
Aix-la-Chapelle, the Capitulary of the Emperor Louis, the 
Council of Worms, the Council of London. Mistake of the 
Bishop of Oxford rectified, 110-115 

CHAPTER XL-^fexamples of slaveholding in the primitive Church, 
from the eccclesiastical historian, Fleury. St. Gregory. St. 
Perpetuus. Alcuin. Council of Soissons. Pope Benedict, . 115-117 

CHAPTER XII. Statements of Bingham. The Apostolic Canons. 

The Imperial lawa Theodosian Code, . . .:'.'. 118-119 

CHAPTER XIII. The Divines and Commentators since the Re- 
formation. Melancthon. Calvin. Pool's Synopsis, . . 120-122 

CHAPTER XIV. Commentators. Pool's Synopsis, . . . 123-126 
J CHAPTER XV.-^he Commentary of Patrick, Lowth, and Whitby, 

sustaining the Bible View of Slavery, 127-135 

W CHAPTER XVI. The Commentary of Rev. Matthew Henry in per- 
fect agreement with apostolic doctrine on slavery, . . . 136-141 

CHAPTER XVII. The Commentary of Rev. Thomas Scott. Be- 
longs to the nineteenth century. Shows, occasionally, the influ- 
ence of ultra-abolition novelty, but sound on the whole. His 
mistake about the law of love being inconsistent with slavery 
considered, . I . 142-152 

CHAPTER XVIII. The commentary of Rev. Adam Clarke. His 
occasional outbursts against slavery. Yet his doctrines as a 
commentator correct and faithful, 153-159 

CHAPTER XIX. The Comprehensive Commentary. Dr. Jenks. 

In the main a repetition of Henry and Scott, .... 160-163 

CHAPTER XX.- Dr. Gill's Exposition set forth at large on slavery. 

Judicious and learned Commentator, . . *~ . . . 164-171 

CHAPTER XXI. Dr. Doddridge's Paraphrase. Hammond's Para- 
phrase. Locke on the Epistles. D'Oyly and Mant's Commen- 
tary. Melchizedek. JhArgument proving that the main por- 
tion of Canaan's posterity have always been, and still are among 
the native Africans, fulfilling the prophecy of NoahiS^ Ultimately, 


at the time appointed by divine Providence, they will be freed 
from slavery. But the prophecy must have its course till then, 

CHAPTER XXII. Commentary of D'Oyly and Mant continued. 
The color of the human races. Buffon. Shaw. The Jubilee. 
Bishop Davenant on slavery, set forth at large, ^ . '4 

CHAPTER XXIII. Dr. Jortin's statement about the law of nature, 
examined. Dominion and subjection. No government possible 
without thein>(Crhe Federal Constitution is the supreme law in 
earthly things, to the American citizen^yThe oath of allegiance. 
Christianity enforces its authority.^tNo conflict between the 
law of God and the law of the Constitution with respect to 
slavery, as both unite in its sanction, . . , . .: 

CHAPTER XXIV. The commentator, Macknight, on slavery, 
f CHAPTER XXV. The Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the 
Greek Testament by Rev. Henry Alford. The New Testament 
in the original Greek, with notes, by the Rev. Chr. Words- 
worth, D.D., . . . . . ,. . , *"; 

CHAPTER XXVL Perversion of the prophets exposed, . t -,* 

, CHAPTER XXVII. Doctrine of the Church of Rome, from the 

works of Bishop England. Apostolic Letters of the Popes. 

Theologians. Oriental Churches and Church of Russia, ... ' 

CHAPTER XXVIII. Bishop England on marriage of slaves, 

CHAPTER XXIX. Polygamy not authorized by any divine law. 
Prohibited by St. Paul to the clergy. The Apostolic Canons. 
Council of Nice expressly extending the prohibition to the 
laity. St. Augustine. St. Basil. General Argument. The 
whole Church unanimous against Polygamy, . . ... 
^HAPTKR XXX. Man-stealing. The Southern States had nothing 
to do with it. Absurdity of the accusation demonstrated. The 
title of the Southern masters shown to be as good as the title 
of the North to their lands taken from the Indians, . . . . .* 

CHAPTER XXXI. The Golden Rule. Limitations to its applica- 
tion universally admitted. Illustrations. The Southern mas- 
JJf ters have acted upon it largely in the emancipation of their 

slaves, ;.'..'., -'"CiiJ. 

^ 'CHAPTER XXXII. Slavery of freemen. Not the subject in con- 
troversy. Modes of abolition, . < 4 V . 

CHAPTER XXXIII St. Domingo, from the work of the historian, 
Alison, V"' : . . '-, '-'' 









CHAPTER XXXIV. The Slave-trade. Views of Mr. Wilberforce 
examined, and shown to be in agreement with those of the 
Author,. . . , , ^i.,i^ij-:\ *. M7dfa*>k:-K '^^ 

CHAPTER XXXV. Results of the British Act of Emancipation, 
from the work of the historian Alison^His opinion on the 
advantages of slavery, > f > > , ,.-' ;.,' ? ' ' : -! v . 

CHAPTER XXXVI. The historian Hume. Blackstone. Villen- 
age in England. Died out by degrees, .i , i" 

CHAPTER XXXVII. The historian Gibbon on Roman slavery. 

CHAPTER XXXVIII. The historian Robertson. Slavery in Eng- 
land. The Church favorable to it. Died out by degrees. Ob- 
servations, . . .... 

CHAPTER XXXIX. The historian Motley^The Church favorable 
to slavery. Seven thousand two hundred Turks reduced to 
slavery among Christians after the battle of Lepanto, in the 
sixteenth century. Slavery died out in Europe through the 
results of commercial changes. Observations, 

CHAPTER XL. Case of the negro Somerset. Argument of Ear- 
grave from the State Trials. Observations, . ." *^' ; ^ 

CHAPTER XLI. Treaty of Utrecht. Queen Anne a Partner with 

^ the English- African Company in slave-trade. The Church of 

England in contrast with ultra-abolitionism, . . . r " . 

CHAPTER XLII. Mournful debasement of the English poor, from 
the work of Joseph Kay, Esq., .... . . 

CHAPTER XLIII. Treatment of the slaves. Corporal correction. 
Sanctioned by the divine law for Israel./fclhe system laid down 
by the Almighty was preeminent in mercy and compassion, . 

CHAPTER XLIV. Vindication of corporal punishment as more 
safe, merciful, and effectual than imprisonment. Mrs. Kemble's 
book. Contrast between her statements on the condition of 
the slaves, and Mr. Kay's statements concerning the English 
poor. Slavery to be abolished, not by violent assaults, but by 

the operation of divine Providence, 

i. CHAPTER XLV.^ffreatment of the slaves, continued. Testimony 
of the Southern clergy. Bryan Tyson, Esq. Marriages. No 
pauperism. jjJlegrets of emancipated negroes, 

CHAPTER XLVI. Statements of Rev. Dr. Cummins. Opinions of 
Washington, Jefferson, etc. Mrs. Stowe. Afcuies admitted 

252 -257 










and condemned. Illustration, showing that these are no fair 
grounds of argument against the institution. The question of 
compensation for slave labor considered, .... 324-332 
CHAPTER XL VII. Theodore Parker. Mr. Emerson. Infidelity 
associated with ultra-abolitionism. Mr. Parker's anticipation of 
civil wart His principles upon the right of the slaves to kill 
their masters, and the duty of the freemen to help them, , 333-343 
f CHAPTER XL VIII. The Protest. The precepts of the Apostle. 

Admonition. Summary. Conclusion, . ,_ ' ''-; . . 344-353 


NOTE 1. Meaning of the Fourth and Tenth Commandments proved from 

the Septuagint, the Latin Vulgate, and other versions. 
NOTE 2. Observations on our English version. 
NOTE 3. The original text of the Roman Civil Law on slavery 
NOTES 4-13. The same. 
NOTK 14. Philo Judaeus. Latin version. 
NOTK 15. The same. 
NOTE 16. Tertullian. 
NOTES 17, 18, and 19. St. Jerome. 
NOTES 20 and 21. Ancient author, supposed formerly to be Ambrose of 


NOTES 22-26. St. Augustine. 
NOTES 27-29. St. Basil Latin version. 
NOTE 30. St. Chrysostom. Latin version. 
NOTE 31. Prosper of Aquitaine. 
NOTES 32-34. Gregory the Great. 
NOTE 35. Isidore of Seville. 
NOTE 36. Apostolic Canons. 

NOTE 37. The Clementine Constitutions. Latin version. 
NOTE 38. Council of Gangra. 
NOTE 39. Council of Agde. 
NOTE 40. Council of Orleans, A.D. 611. 
NOTE 41. Council of Epone. 
NOTE 42. Another Council of Orleans, A.D. 41. 
NOTE 43. Another Council of Orleans, A.D. 549. 
NOTE 44. Council of Ma9on. 


NOTE 45. Council of Toledo. 

NOTE 46. Council of Narbonne. 

NOTE 47. Council of Berghamstead. 

NOTE 48. Council of Aix-la-Chapelle. 

NOTE 49. Capitulary of Emperor Louis. 

NOTES 60 and 61. Council of Worms. 

NOTE 62. Council of London. Mistake of Bishop of Oxford. 

NOTE 63. Letter of Archbisbop Anselm. 

NOTE 54. Fleury, the ecclesiastical historian. St. Gregory. 

NOTE 55. Ib. St. Perpetuus. 

NOTE 66. Ib. Alcuin. 

NOTE 67. Ib. Council of Soissons. 

NOTE 58. Ib. Pope Benedict. 

NOTE 69. Melancthon. 

NOTES 60, 61, and 62. Calvin. 

NOTES 63, 64, and 65. Pool's Synopsis. 

NOTES 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, and 73. Pool's Synopsfe. 

NOTE 74. Apostolic Canons, 

NOTE 75. Council of Nice. 

NOTE 76. St. Augustin. 

NOTES 77 and 78. & Basil. 

NOTE 79. African barbarism. 


IN the month of December, 1 860, 1 was requested formally, 
by several gentlemen of New- York, to state in writing my 
opinion of the Biblical argument on the subject of negro 
slavery in the Southern States, and also on the constitutional 
position of the contending parties. I considered it my duty 
to comply with that request, and the pamphlet was publish- 
ed at their expense in the following month of January. No 
compensation, pecuniary or otherwise, was offered or ex- 
pected for my labor. It was asked and given purely as a 
service to what I deemed to be the truth, at a time when 
the secession of the Southern States had invested that truth 
with the highest importance to the peace and safety of our 

Some gentlemen of Philadelphia, having read this pam- 
phlet, addressed a similar request to me on the fifteenth of 
April, 1863, with reference to the topic of slavery, and I re- 
plied by consenting to the republication of the same Biblical 
argument on that subject, including the popular objections 
commonly urged against it. As in the former case, so it 
was in this that no pecuniary or other inducement of a 
personal nature was contemplated. I did not know, and 
cared not to inquire into the political standing of those gen- 
tlemen. The question, in my mind, was above all party con- 
siderations, because it involved the authority of the Scrip- 
tures, the consistency of the Church, and the morality of the 
American Constitution. I was sufficiently acquainted with 
the subscribers of the letter to recognize them as Episcopa- 


lians of high character, who had a right to know the senti- 
ments of every bishop in the Church, in answer to any re- 
spectful application. And I should have deemed myself not 
only unworthy of my office, but unworthy of the name of 
a Christian freeman, if I could have shrunk 'from avowing 
my convictions of the truth, through the love of popular 
praise or the fear of popular censure. 

The letter of request, together with my reply, is here re- 
corded, in order that my readers may have the whole case 
fully and fairly before them. 


PHILADELPHIA, April 15, 1863. 

RIGHT REVEREND SIR : Your views on the Scriptural as- 
pect of Slavery, contained in a letter addressed by you to 
some gentlemen in New-York, shortly before the breaking 
out of the war, have come to our notice, and been perused 
with much satisfaction and profit. 

We believe that false teachings on this subject have had 
a great deal to do with bringing on the unhappy strife be- 
tween two sections of our common country, and that a la- 
mentable degree of ignorance prevails in regard to it. It is 
of the deepest importance to the public welfare that a sound 
public opinion should exist on this topic. Believing that 
the communication of your views as a Christian Bishop on 
the Scriptural aspect of Slavery may contribute to this de- 
sirable result, we respectfully venture to beg that you will 
favor us with them, and permit us to make them public. 
We are with great respect your obedient servants, 



To the Rt. Rev. JOHN HENRY HOPKINS, Burlington, Vt. 



BURLINGTON, VT., May 2, 1863. 

MY DEAR SIRS : The pamphlet published in January, 1861, 
to which you have so kindly referred, is at your service, in 
its original form ; as I have not found, in the numerous an- 
swers which it has drawn forth, any reason for changing my 
opinion. On the contrary, those answers have only strength- 
ened my conviction as to the sanction which the Scriptures 
give to the principle of negro slavery, so long as it is ad- 
ministered in accordance with the precepts laid down by the 
Apostles. Such was the universal doctrine of Christian 
ministers, Christian lawyers, and Christian statesmen one 
hundred years ago, with a few exceptions which only proved 
the rule. The Constitution of the United States, as I firmly 
believe, made no concessions on the subject which were not 
warranted by the Bible. And therefore, while I should re- 
joice in the adoption of any plan of gradual abolition which 
could be accepted peacefully by general consent, I can not 
see that we have any right to interfere with the domestic 
institutions of the South, either by the law or by the Gos- 
pel. With this brief introduction, I proceed to the very 
serious question which your friendly application has submit- 
ted for discussion. 

Your faithful servant in Christ, 

Bishop of the Diocese of Vermont. 


THE word " slave " occurs but twice in our English Bible, 
but the term " servant," commonly employed by our trans- 
lators, has the meaning of slave in the Hebrew and the 
Greek originals, as a general rule, where it stands alone. 
We read, however, in many places, of "hired servants," 


and of " bondmen and bondmaids." The first were not 
slaves, but the others were ; the distinction being precisely 
the same which exists in our own day. Slavery, therefore, 
may be defined as servitude for life, descending to the off- 
spring. And this kind of bondage appears to have existed 
as an established institution in all the ages of our world, by 
the universal evidence of history, whether sacred or profane. 

Thus understood, I shall not oppose the prevalent idea 
that slavery is an evil in itself. A physical evil it may be, 
but this does not satisfy the judgment of its more zealous 
adversaries, since they contend that it is a moral evil a 
positive sin to hold a human being in bondage, under any 
circumstances whatever, unless as a punishment inflicted on 
crimes, for the safety of the community. 

Here, therefore, lies the true aspect of the controversy, 
and it is evident that it can only be settled by the Bible. 
For every Christian is bound to assent to the rule of the 
inspired Apostle, that " sin is the transgression of the law," 
namely, the law laid down in the Scriptures by the authority 
of God the supreme " Lawgiver, who is able to save and 
to destroy." From his "Word there can be no appeal. No 
rebellion can be so atrocious in his sight as that which dares 
to rise against his government. No blasphemy can be more 
unpardonable than that which imputes sin or moral evil to 
the decrees of the eternal Judge, who is alone perfect in 
wisdom, in knowledge, and in love. 

With entire correctness, therefore, your letter refers the 
question to the only infallible criterion the Word of God. 
If it were a matter to be determined by my personal sym- 
pathies, tastes, or feelings, I should be as ready as any man 
to condemn the institution of slavery ; for all my prejudices of 
education, habit, and social position stand entirely opposed to 
it. But as a Christian, I am solemnly warned not to be " wise 
in my own conceit," and not to "lean to my own under- 
standing." As a Christian, I am compelled to submit my 


weak and erring intellect to the authority of the Almighty. 
For then only can I be safe in my conclusions, when I know 
that they are in accordance with the will of Him, before 
whose tribunal I must render a strict account in the last 
great day. 

I proceed, accordingly, to the evidence of the sacred 
Scriptures, which, long ago, produced complete conviction 
in my own mind, and must, as I regard it, be equally con- 
clusive to every candid and sincere inquirer. When the 
array of positive proof is exhibited, I shall consider the 
objections, and examine their validity with all the fairness 
in my power. 

The first appearance of slavery in the Bible is the won- 
derful prediction of the patriarch Noah : " Cursed be Canaan, 
a servant of servants shall he be to his brethren. Blessed 
be the Lord God of Shem, and Canaan shall be his servant. 
God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents 
of Shem, and Canaan shall be his servant." (Gen. 9 : 25.) 

The heartless irreverence which Ham, the father of 
Canaan, displayed toward his eminent parent, whose piety 
had just saved him from the deluge, presented the imme- 
diate occasion for this remarkable prophecy ; but the actual 
fulfilment was reserved for his posterity, after they had 
lost the knowledge of God, and become utterly polluted by 
the abominations of heathen idolatry. The Almighty, foresee- 
ing this total degradation of the race, ordained them to servi- 
tude or slavery under the descendants of Shem and Japheth, 
doubtless because he judged it to be their fittest condition. 
And all history proves how accurately the prediction has 
been accomplished, even to the present day. 

We come next to the proof that slavery was sanctioned 
by the Deity in the case of Abraham, whose three hundred 
and eighteen bond-servants, born in his own house, (Gen. 
14 : 14,) are mentioned along with those who were bought 
with his money, as proper subjects for circumcision. (Gen. 


17 : 12.) His wife Sarah had also an Egyptian slave, named 
Hagar, who fled from her severity. And " the angel of the 
Lord" commanded the fugitive is return to her mistress and 
submit herself. (Gen. 16 : 9.) If the philanthropists of our 
age, who profess to believe the Bible, had been willing to 
take the counsel of that angel for their guide, it would have 
preserved the peace and welfare of the Union. 

The -third proof that slavery was authorized by the Al- 
mighty occurs in the last of the Ten Commandments, deliv- 
ered from Mount Sinai, and universally acknowledged by 
Jews and Christians as THE MORAL LAW : " Thou shalt not 
covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neigh- 
bor's wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor 
his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor's." 
(Exod. 20: 17.) Here it is evident that the principle of 
property " any thing that is thy neighbor's " runs through 
the whole. I am quite aware, indeed, of the prejudice which 
many good people entertain against the idea of property in 
a human being, and shall consider it, in due time, amongst 
the objections. I am equally aware that the wives of our 
day may take umbrage at the law which places them in the 
same sentence with the slave, and even with the house and 
the cattle. But the truth is none the less certain. The 
husband has a real property in the wife, because she is 
bound, for life, to serve and to obey him. The wife has a 
real property in her husband, because he is bound, for life, 
to cherish and maintain her. The character of property is 
doubtless modified by its design. But whatever, whether 
person or thing, the law appropriates to an individual, be- 
comes of necessity his property. 

The fourth proof, however, is yet more express, as it is de- 
rived from the direct rule established by the wisdom of God 
for his chosen people, Israel, on the very point in question, 
viz. : 

" If thou buy a Hebrew servant, six years shall he serve, 


and in the seventh year he shall go out free for nothing. If 
he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself. If he 
were married, then his wife shall go out with him. If his 
master have given him a wife, and she have borne him sons 
or daughters, the wife and the children shall be her master's, 
and he shall go out by himself" (Exod. 21 : 2-4.) Here we 
see that the separation of husband and wife is positively di- 
rected by the divine command, in order to secure the pro- 
perty of the master in his bond-maid and her offspring. But 
the husband had an alternative, if he preferred slavery to 
separation. For thus the law of God proceeds : " If the 
servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my 
children ; I will not go out free ; then his master shall bring 
him unto the judges ; he shall also bring him to the door or 
unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear 
through with an awl, and he shall serve him forever" (Exod. 
21 : 5, 6.) With this law before his eyes, what Christian 
can believe that the Almighty attached immorality or sin to 
the condition of slavery ? 

The treatment of slaves, especially as it regarded the de- 
gree of correction which the master might administer, occurs 
in the same chapter, as follows : " If a man smite his servant 
or his maid with a rod, and he die under his hand, he shall 
be surely punished. Notwithstanding if he continue a day 
or two, he shall not be punished for he is his money" 
(Exod. 21 : 20, 21.) And again : " If a man smite the eye of 
his servant or the eye of his maid, that it perish, he shall let 
him go free for his eye's sake. And if he smite out his 
man-servant's tooth, or his maid-servant's tooth, he shall let 
him go free for his tooth's sake." (Exod. 21 : 26, 27.) 
Here we see that the master was authorized to use corporal 
correction toward his: slaves, within certain limits. When 
immediate death ensued, he was to be punished as the judges 
might determine. But for all that came short of this, the 
loss of his property was held to be a sufficient penalty. 


The next evidence furnished by the divine law appears in 
the peculiar and admirable appointment of the Jubilee. 
" Ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty 
throughout all the land to all the inhabitants thereof: it 
shall be a Jubilee unto you, and ye shall return every man 
unto his possession, and ye shall return every man to his 
family" (Lev. 25 : 10.) This enactment^ however, did 
not affect the slaves, because it only extended to the Israel- 
ites who had " a possession and a family," according to the 
original distribution of the land among the tribes. The dis- 
tinction is plainly set forth in the same chapter, viz. : 

" If thy brother that dwelleth by thee be waxen poor, 
and be sold unto thee, thou shalt not compel him to serve 
as a bond servant, but as a hired servant and as a sojourner 
he shall be with thee, and shall serve thee unto the year of 
Jubilee, and then shall he depart from thee, both he and his 
children with him, and shall return unto his own family, 
and unto the possession of his fathers shall he return. For 
they are my servants which I brought forth out of the land 
of Egypt, they shall not be sold as bondmen. JSoth thy 
bondmen and bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of 
the heathen that are round about you / of them shall ye buy 
bondmen and bondmaids. Moreover, of the children of the 
strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, 
and of their families that are with you, which they begat in 
your land, and they shall be your possession. And ye shall 
take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to 
inherit them for a possession ; THEY SHALL BE TOUR BOND- 
MEN FOREVER; but over your brethren, the children of 
Israel, ye shajl not rule one over another with rigor. For 
unto me the children of Israel are servants ; they are my 
servants whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt : I 
am the Lord your God." (Lev. 25 : 39-46, with v. 55.) 

The distinction here made, between the temporary servi- 
tude of the Israelite and the perpetual bondage of the 


heathen race, is too plain for controversy. And this ex- 
press and positive law furnishes the true meaning of another 
passage which the ultra-abolitionist is Very fond of repeat- 
ing : " Thou shalt not deliver unto his master the servant 
which is escaped from his master unto thee : he shall dwell 
with thee, even among you, in that place which he shall 
choose, in one of thy gates where it liketh him best : thou 
shalt not oppress him." (Deut. 23 : 15, 16.) This evidently 
must be referred to the case of .a slave who had escaped 
from a foreign heathen master, and can not, with any sound 
reason, be applied to the slaves of the Israelites themselves. 
For it is manifest that if it were so applied, it would nullify 
the other enactments of the divine Lawgiver, and it would 
have been an absurdity to tell the people that they should 
" buy bondmen and bondmaids of the heathen and the 
stranger, to be their possession and the inheritance of 
their children forever," while, nevertheless, the slaves 
should be at liberty to run away and become freemen 
when they pleased. It is the well-known maxim, in the 
interpretation of all laws, that each sentence shall be so 
construed as to give a consistent meaning to the whole. 
And assuredly, if we are bound to follow this rule in the 
legislation of earth, we can not be less bound to follow it 
in the legislation of the Almighty. The meaning that I 
have adopted is the only one which agrees with the estab- 
lished principle of legal construction, and it has invariably 
been sanctioned by the doctors of the Jewish law, and 
every respectable Christian commentator. 

Such, then, is the institution of slavery, laid down by 
the Lord God of Israel for his chosen people, and contin- 
ued for fifteen centuries, until the new dispensation of the 
Gospel. What change did this produce ? I grant, of 
course, that we, as Christians, are bound by the precepts 
and example of the Saviour and his apostles. Let us 
now, therefore, proceed to the all-important inquiry, whether 


we are authorized by these to presume that the Mosaic 
system was done away. 

First, then, we ask what the divine Redeemer said in 
reference to slavery. And the answer is perfectly unde- 
niable : HE DID NOT ALLUDE TO IT AT ALL. Not One WOl'd 

of censure upon the subject is recorded by the Evangel- 
ists who gave His life and doctrines to the world. Yet 
slavery was in full existence at the time, throughout Judea ; 
and the Roman empire, according to the historian Gibbon, 
contained sixty millions of slaves, on the lowest probable 
computation ! How prosperous and united would our glo- 
rious republic be at this hour, if the eloquent and pertina- 
cious declaimers against slavery had been willing to follow 
their Saviour's example ! 

But did not our Lord substantially repeal the old law, 
by the mere fact that he established a new dispensation ? 
Certainly not, unless they were incompatible. And that 
he did not consider them incompatible is clearly proved 
by his own express declaration. " Think not," saith he, 
" that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets. I 
am not come to destroy, but to fulfil." (Matt. 5:17.) On 
that point, therefore, this single passage is perfectly con- 

It is said by some, however, that the great principle of 
the Gospel, love to God and love to man, necessarily involv- 
ed the condemnation of slavery. Yet how should it have 
any such result, when we remember that this was no new 
principle, but, on the contrary, was laid down by the Deity 
to his own chosen people, and was quoted from the Old 
Testament by the Saviour himself ? And why should slavery 
be thought inconsistent with it ? In the relation of master 
and slave, we are assured by our Southern brethren that 
there is incomparably more mutual love than can ever be 
found between the employer and the hireling. And I can 
readily believe it, for the very reason that it is a relation for 


life ; and the parties, when rightly disposed, mnst therefore 
fcel a far stronger and deeper interest in each other. 

The next evidence, which proves that the Mosaic law was 
not held to be inconsistent with the Gospel, occurs in the 
statement of the apostles to St. Paul, made some twenty 
years, at least, after the establishment of the first Christian 
church in Jerusalem. " Thou seest, brother," said they, 
" how many thousands of Jews there are who believe, and 
they are all zealous of the law" (Acts 21:20.) How could 
this have been possible, if the law was supposed to be abol- 
ished by the new dispensation ? 

But the precepts and the conduct of St. Paul himself, the 
great apostle of the Gentiles, are all-sufficient, because he 
meets the very,point, and settles the whole question. Thus 
he saith to the Ephesians : " Servants," (in the original Greek, 
bond servants or slaves,) " be obedient to them that are your 
masters, according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in 
singleness of your hearts, as unto Christ. Not with eye-ser- 
vice, as men-pleasers, but as the servants of Christ, doing 
the will of God from the heart, with good will doing service, 
as to the Lord, and not unto men, knowing that whatsoever 
good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the 
Lord, whether he be bond or free. And ye masters, do the 
same things unto them, forbearing threatening, knowing that 
your Master also is in heaven, neither is there any respect 
of persons with him." (Eph. 6 : 5-9,) 

Again, to the Colossians, St. Paul repeats the same com- 
mandments. " Servants," (that is, bond servants or slaves,) 
" obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not 
with eye-service, as men-pleasers, but in singleness of heart, 
fearing God." (Col. 3 : 22.) "Masters, give unto your ser- 
vants that which is just and equal, knowing that ye also 
have a master in heaven." (Coll 4:1.) 

Again, the same inspired teacher lays down the law in 
very strong terms, to Timothy, the first Bishop of Ephesus ; 


" Let as many servants as are tinder the yoke," (that is, the 
yoke of bondage,) " count their own masters worthy of all 
honor, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blas- 
phemed. And they that have believing masters, let them 
not despise them because they are brethren, but rather do 
them service because they are faithful and beloved, partakers 
of the benefit. These things teach and exhort. If any man 
teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the 
words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which 
is according to godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but 
doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh 
envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of 
men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, supposing 
that gain is godliness. From such withdraw thyself. But 
godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought 
nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry noth- 
ing out. And having food and raiment, let us be therewith 
content." (1 Tim. 6 : 1-8.) 

Lastly, St. Paul, in his Epistle to Philemon, informs him 
that he had sent back his fugitive slave, whom the Apostle 
had converted to the Christian faith during his imprison- 
ment, asking the master to forgive and receive his penitent 
disciple. " I beseech thee for my son Onesimus," saith he, 
" whom I have begotten in my bonds, which in time past 
was to thee unprofitable; but now profitable to thee and to 
me, whom I-have sent again : thou therefore receive him that 
is mine own bowels, whom I would have retained with me, 
that in thy stead he might have ministered unto me in the 
bonds of the gospel. But without thy mind would I do 
nothing, that thy benefit should not be as it were of neces- 
sity, but willingly. For perhaps he therefore departed for 
a season, that thou shouldst receive him forever, not now as 
a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially 
to me, but how much more to thee, both in the flesh and in 
the Lord? If thou countest me therefore a partner, receive 


him as myself. If he hath wronged thee or oweth thee aught, 
put that on mine account. I Paul have written it with mine 
own hand, I will repay it ; albeit I do not say to thee how 
thou owest unto me thine own soul besides." (Ep. to Phile- 
mon 5, 10, 19.) 

The evidence of the New Testament is thus complete, 
plainly proving that the institution of slavery was not abol- 
ished by the Gospel. Compare now the course of the ultra- 
abolitionist, with that of Christ and his inspired apostle. 
The divine Redeemer openly rebukes the sanctimonious 
Pharisees, " who made void the law of God by their tradi- 
tions." He spares not the wealthy, infidel Sadducees. He 
denounces the hypocritical Scribes, who " loved the upper- 
most rooms at feasts and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi." 
He calls the royal Herod " that fox," entirely regardless of 
the king's displeasure. He censures severely the Jewish 
practice of divorcing their wives for the slightest cause, and 
vindicates the original sanctity of marriage. He tells the 
deluded crowd of his enemies that they are " the children of 
the devil, and that the lusts of their fathers they would do." 
He makes a scourge of small cords, and drives the buyers 
and sellers out of the temple. And while he thus rebukes 
the sins of all around him, and speaks with divine authority, 
he proclaims himself the special friend and patron of the 
poor preaches to them his blessed doctrine, on the moun- 
tain, by the sea-side, or in the public streets, under the open 
canopy of heaven heals their diseases, partakes of their 
humble fare, and, passing by the rich and the great, chooses 
his apostles from the ranks of the publicans and the fisher- 
men of Galilee. Yet he lived in the midst of slavery, main- 
tained over the old heathen races, in accordance with the 
Mosaic law, and uttered not one word against it ! What 
proof can be stronger than this, that he did not regard it as 
a sin or a moral evil ? And what contrast can be more 
manifest than this example of Christ on the one hand, and 


the loud and bitter denunciations of our anti-slavery preach- 
ers and politicians, calling themselves Christians, on the 
other ? For they not only set themselves against the Word 
of God in this matter, condemning slavery as the " monster 
sin," the " sum of all villainies^" but strange to say they 
do it in the very name of that Saviour whose whole line of 
conduct was the very opposite of their own ! 

Look next at the contrast afforded by the inspired Apos- 
tle of the Gentiles. He preaches to the slave, and tells him 
to be obedient to his master for Christ's sake, faithful and 
submissive, as a main branch of religious duty. He preaches 
to the master, and tells him to be just and equal to his slave, 
knowing that his Master is in heaven. He finds a fugitive 
slave, and converts him to the Gospel, and then sends him 
back again to his old home with a letter of kind recom- 
mendation. Why does St. Paul act thus ? Why does he 
not counsel the fugitive to claim his right to freedom, and 
defend that right, if necessary, by the strong hand of vio- 
lence, even unto death ? Why does he not write to his dis- 
ciple, Philemon, and rebuke him for the awful sin of holding 
a fellow-man in bondage, and charge it upon him, as a solemn 
duty, to emancipate his slaves, at the peril of his soul ? 

The answer is very plain. St. Paul was inspired, and knew 
the will of the Lord Jesus Christ, and was only intent on 
obeying it. And who are we, that in our modern wisdom 
presume to set aside the Word of God, and scorn the ex- 
ample of the divine Redeemer, and spurn the preaching and 
the conduct of the apostles, and invent for ourselves a 
" higher law " than those holy Scriptures which are given 
to us as " a light to our feet and a lamp to our paths," in the 
darkness of a sinful and a polluted world ? Who are we 
that virtually blot out the language of the sacred record, 
and dictate to the majesty of heaven what HE shall regard 
as sin and reward as duty ? Who are we that are ready to 
trample on the doctrine of the Bible, and tear to shreds the 


Constitution of our country, and even plunge the land into 
the untold horrors of civil war, and yet boldly pray to the 
God of Israel to bless our very acts of rebellion against his 
own sovereign authority ? Woe to our Union when the 
blind become the leaders of the blind ! Woe to the man 
who dares to " strive against his Maker !" 

Yet I do not mean to charge the numerous and respectable 
friends of this popular delusion with a willful or conscious 
opposition to the truth. They are seduced, doubtless, in the 
great majority of cases, by the feelings of a false philanthro- 
py, which palliates, if it can not excuse, their dangerous 
error. Living far away from the Southern States, with no 
practical experience of the institution, and accustomed from 
their childhood to attach an inordinate value to their per- 
sonal liberty, they are naturally disposed to compassionate 
the negro race, and to believe that the slave must be su- 
premely wretched in his bondage. They are under no spe- 
cial inducement to " search the Scriptures " on this par- 
ticular subject, nor are they in general, I am sorry to say, 
accustomed to study the Bible half as much as they read the 
newspapers, the novel, and the magazine. There they find 
many revolting pictures of slavery, and they do not pause to 
ask the question whether they are just and faithful. Perhaps 
a fugitive comes along, who has fled from his master, and 
who, in justification of himself, will usually give a very dis- 
torted statement of the facts, even if he does not invent them 
altogether. And these good and kind-hearted people believe 
it all implicitly, without ever remembering the rule about 
hearing both sides before we form our opinion. Of course, 
they sympathize warmly with the poor oppressed African, 
and are generously excited to hate the system of slavery with 
all their heart. Then the eloquent preacher chooses it for the 
favorite topic of his oratory. The theme is well adapted to 
rouse the feelings, and it is usually by no means difficult to 
interest and gratify the audience, when the supposed sins of 


others, which they are under no temptation to commit, are 
made the object of censure. In due time, when the public 
mind is sufficiently heated, the politician lays hold of the 
subject, and makes the anti-slavery movement the watch- 
word of party. And finally the Press follows in the wake 
of the leaders, and the fire is industriously fanned until it 
becomes a perfect blaze ; while the admiring throng sur- 
round it with exultation, and fancy its lurid light to be 
from heaven, until the flames begin to threaten their own 

Such has been the perilous course of our Northern senti- 
ment on the subject of slavery. The great majority, in 
eveiy community, are the creatures of habit, of association, 
and of impulse ; and every allowance should be made for 
those errors which are committed in ignorance, under a gen- 
erous sympathy for what they suppose to be the rights of 
man. I can not, however, make the same apology for those 
who are professionally pledged to understand and inculcate 
the doctrines of the Bible. On that class of our public in- 
structors, the present perilous crisis of the nation casts a 
fearful responsibility. Solemly bound by their sacred office 
to preach the 'Word of God, and to follow Christ and his 
apostles, as the heralds of " peace and good will to men," 
they seem to me strangely regardless, on this important sub 
ject, of their highest obligations. But it is not for me to 
judge them. To their own Master, let them stand or fall. 

I have promised, however, to notice the various objections 
which have been raised in the popular mind to the institution 
of Southern slavery, and to these I shall now proceed. 

First on this list stand the propositions of the far-famed 
Declaration of Independence, " that all men are created 
equal ; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain 
unalienable rights ; that among these are life, liberty, and 
the pursuit of happiness." These statements are here called" 
" self-evident truths." But with due respect to the cele- 


brated names which are appended to this document, I have 
never been able to comprehend that they are "truths" at all. 
In what respect are men "created equal," when every 
thoughtful person must be sensible that they are brought 
into the world with all imaginable difference in body, in 
mind, and in every characteristic of their social position ? 
Notwithstanding mankind have all descended from one com- 
mon parent, yet we see them divided into distinct races, so 
strongly marked, that infidel philosophers insist on the im- 
possibility of their having the same ancestry. Where is the 
equality in body between the child born with the hereditary 
taint of scrofula or consumption, and the infant filled with 
health and vigor ? Where is the equality in mind between 
one who is endowed with talent and genius, and another 
whose intellect borders on idiocy ? Where is the equality 
in social position between the son of the Esquimaux or Hot- 
tentot, and the heir of the American statesman or British 

Neither am I able to admit that all men are endowed with 
the unalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happi- 
ness, because it is manifest that since " sin entered into the 
world, and death by sin," they are all alienated, forfeited 
and lost through the consequences of transgression.XLife is 
alienated not only by the sentence of the law, but by in- 
numerable forms of violence and accident^ Liberty is alien- 
ated not only by imprisonment, but by the irresistible re- 
straints of social bondage to the will, the temper, the preju- 
dices, the customs, or the interests of others/so that there 
is hardly an individual to be found, even in the most favored 
community, who has really the liberty of word and action so 
confidently asserted as the unalienable right of all men. And 
as regards the "pursuit of happiness," alas ! what multitudes 
alienate their right to it, beyond recovery, not only in the 
cells of the penitentiary, but in the reckless indulgence of 
their appetites and passions, in the disgust arising from ill- 


chosen conjugal relations, in their associations with the pro- 
fligate and the vile, in the pain and suffering of sickness and 
poverty as the results of vice, in the ruin of the gambler, the 
delirium of the drunkard, the despair of the suicide, and in 
every other form of moral contamination ! j 

If it be said, however, that the equality and unalienable 
rights of all men, so strongly asserted by this famous De- 
claration, are only to be taken in a political sense, I am will- 
ing to concede that this may be the proper interpretation of 
its intended meaning, but I can not see how it removes the 
difficulty. The statement is that "all men are created equal" 
and that " the CREATOR has endowed them with these un- 
alienable rights." Certainly if the authors of this celebrated 
document designed to speak only of political rights and po- 
litical equality, they should not have thus referred them to 
the act of creation ; because it is perfectly obvious that since 
the beginning of human government, men have been created 
with all imaginable inequality, under slavery, under despot- 
ism, under aristocracy, under limited monarchy, under every 
conceivable form of political strife and political oppression. 
In no respect whatever, that I can discover, has the Al- 
mighty sent our race into the world with these imaginary 
rights and this fanciful equality. In his sight the whole 
world is sinful, rebellious, and lying under the just condem- 
nation of his violated laws. Our original rights, whatever 
they might have been, are all forfeited and gone. And since 
the fall, mankind have no rights to claim at the hands of the 
Creator. Our whole dependence is on his mercy and com- 
passion. And he dispenses these according to his sovereign 
will and pleasure, on no system of equality that any human 
eye can discover, and yet, as every Christian must believe, 
on the eternal principles of perfect benevolence, in union 
with impartial justice,, and boundless knowledge, and wis- 
dom that can not err. 

Where, then, I ask, did the authors of the Declaration of 


Independence find their warrant for such a statement ? It 
was probably judicious enough to call these propositions 
" self-evident truths," because it seems manifest that no mat 
can prove them. To estimate aright the vast diversity 
among the races of mankind, we may begin with our own, 
the highly privileged Anglo-Saxon, which now stands at the 
head, although our ancestors were heathen barbarians only 
two thousand years ago. From this we may go down the 
descending scale through the Turks, the Chinese, the Tar- 
tars, the Japanese, the Egyptians, the Hindoos, the Indian 
tribes, the Laplanders, the Abyssinians, the Africans, and 
how is it possible to imagine that God has made them all 
equal ! As truly might it be said that all the trees of the 
forest are equal that all the mountains, and seas, and rivers 
are equal that all the beasts of the field are equal that all 
the birds of the air are equal. The facts rather establish the 
very contrary. The Deity seems to take pleasure in exhibit- 
ing a marvelous wealth of power through the rich variety of 
all his works, so that no two individuals of any species can 
be found in all respects alike. And hence we behold a grand 
system of ORDER and GBAPATIOIT, from the thrones, dominions, 
principalities, and powers in heavenly places, rank below 
rank, to man. And then we see the same2feystem throughout 
our earth displayed in the variety of races, some higher, 
some lower in the scale in the variety of governments, from 
pure despotism to pure democracy in the variety of privi- 
lege and 'power among the subjects of each government, 
some being born to commanding authority and influence, 
while others are destined to submit and obeyj/ Again, we 
behold the system continued in the animal creation, from the 
lordly lion down to the timid mole, from the eagle to the 
humming bird, from the monsters of the deep to the sea-star 
in its shell. The same plan meets us in the insect tribes. 
Some swift and powerful, others slow and weak, some mar- 
shaled into a regular government monarchy in the bee-hive, 


aristocracy in the ant-hill, while others, like the flies, have 

no government at all. And in perfect harmony with this 

divine arrangement, the inanimate creation presents us with 

the same vast variety. The canopy of heaven is studded 

with orbs of light, all differing in magnitude, all differing in 

radiance, and all yielding to the sovereign splendor of the 

sun. The earth is clothed with the most profuse diversity 

of vegetation, from the lofty palm down to the humble moss 

The mineral kingdom shines with gold, silver, iron, copper 

and precious stones, in all conceivable forms and colors 

From the mammoth cave down to the minutest crystal 

from mountains of granite down to the sand upon the shore, 

/fall is varied, multiform, unequal : yet each element has its 

/ specific use and beauty, and the grand aggregate unites in 

I the sublime hymn of praise to the wisdom, the goodness, and 

\ the stupendous resources of that ineffable power which pro- 

\duced the whole. 

This brief and most inadequate sketch of the order of cre- 
ation may serve at least to show that the manifest inequality 
in the condition of mankind is no exception to the rule, but 
is sustained by all analogy. It_js the will of God that it^ 
ao 7 and no human sagacity or effort can prevent 

it. And the same principle exists in our political relations. 
We may talk as we please of our equality in political rights 
and privileges, but in point of fact, there is no such thing. 
Amongst the other civilized nations it is not even pretended. 
None of the great galaxy of European governments'can have 
a better title to it than England, yet who would be so ab- 
surd as to claim political equality in a land of monarchy, of 
hereditary" nobles, of time-honored aristocracy ? The best ap- 
proach to political equality is confessedly here, and here only. 
Yet even here, amidst the glories of our universal suffrage, 
where is it to be found ? Political equality, if it means any 
thing, must mean that every man enjoys the same right to 
political office and honor ; because the polity of any govern- 


ment consists in its system of administration, and hence it 
results, of necessity, that those who can not possibly be ad- 
mitted to share in this administration, have no political 
equality with those who can. We do, indeed, say that the 
people are sovereign. But every one knows full well that 
the comparative few who are qualified to take the lead, by 
talent, by education, by natural tact, and by a conjunction 
of favoring circumstances, are practically sovereigns over the 
people. The man who carries a hod gives his vote for the 
candidate. The candidate himself can do no more, so far as 
it concerns the mere form of election. Are they therefore 
politically equal ? Who formed the party to which the can- 
didate belongs ? Who ruled the convention by which his 
name was put upon the list ? Who arranged the orators 
for the occasion? Who subsidized the Press? Had the 
poor hodman any share in the operation, any influence, any 
voice whatever ? No more than the hod which he carries. 
Can any human power ever manufacture a candidate out of 
him f The notion would be preposterous. Where, then, is 
his political equality ? Even here, in our happy Ian3 of uni- 
versal suffrage, how does it appear that " all men are born 
equal"? The proposition is a sheer absurdity. All men 
are born unequal, in body, in mind, and social privileges. 
Their intellectual faculties are unequal. Their education is 
unequal. Their associations are unequal. Their opportuni- 
ties are unequal. And their freedom is as unreal as their 
egpjaJig.JThe poor are compelled to serve the rich, and the 
rich are compelled to serve the poor by paying for their 
services. The political party is compelled to serve the lead- 
ers, and the leaders are compelled to scheme and toil in order 
to serve the party. The multitude are dependent on the 
few who are endowed with talents to govern. And the few 
are dependent on the multitude for the power, without which 
all government is impossible. From the top to the bottom 
of the social fabric, the whole is thus seen to be inequality 


and mutual dependence. And hence, although they are free 
from that special kind of slavery which the Southern States 
maintain over the posterity of Ham, yet they are all, from 
the highest to the lowest, in bondage quite as real, from 
which they can not escape the slavery of circumstances, 
called, in the ordinary language of the world, NECESSITY. 

I have been, I fear, unreasonably tedious in thus endeavor- 
ing to show why I utterly discard these famous propositions 
of the Declaration of Independence. It is because I am 
aware of the strong hold which they have gained over 
the ordinary mind of the nation. They are assumed by 
thousands upon thousands, as if they were the very doctrines 
of divine truth. And they are made the basis of the hostile 
feeling against the slavery of the South, notwithstanding 
their total want of rationality. Yet I do not wonder that 
such maxims should be popular. They are admirably cal- 
culated to gratify the pride and ambition so natural to the 
human heart, and are therefore powerful incentives in the 
work of political revolution. It was for this purpose, I pre- 
sume, that they were introduced in that famous document, 
which publicly cast off the allegiance of the colonies to the 
British crown. And the same doctrines were proclaimed a 
few years later, in a similar service, by the French Directory, 
in the midst of a far more terrible revolution. Liberty ', equal- 
ity, and fraternity THE EIGHTS OP MAN were then the 
watchwords of the excited populace, while their insane 
leaders published the decree of Atheism, and a notorious 
courtesan was enthroned as the goddess of reason, and the 
guillotine daily massacred the victims of democratic fury, 
till the stseets of Paris ran with blood. 

I do not state this fact because I desire to place the revo- 
lutions in the Colonies and in France on the same founda- 
tion, with respect to the spirit or the mode in which they 
were conducted. God forbid that I should forget the mark- 
ed features of contrast between them! On the one side 


there was religious reverence, strong piety, and pure disin- 
terested patriotism. On the other, there was the madness 
of Atheism, the brutality of ruffianism, and the "reign of 
terror " to all that was good and true. In no one mark or 
character, indeed, could I deem that there was any comparison 
between them, save in this : that the same false assumption 
of human equality and human rights was adopted in both. 
Yet how widely different was their result on the question 
of negro slavery! The American revolution produced no 
effect whatever on that institution ; while the French revo- 
lution roused the slaves of their colony in St. Domingo to a 
general insurrection, and a scene of barbarous and cruel 
butchery succeeded, to which the history of the world con- 
tains no parallel. 

This brings me to the last remarks which I have to pre- 
sent on this famous Declaration. And I respectfully ask 
my readers to consider them maturely. 

First, then, it seems manifest, that when the signers of 
this document assumed that " all men were born equal," 
they did not take the negro race into account at all. It is 
unquestionable that the author, Mr. Jefferson, was a slave- 
holder at the time, and continued so to his life's end. It is 
certain that the great majority of the other signers of the 
Declaration were slaveholders likewise. No one can be 
ignorant of the fact that slavery had been introduced into 
all the colonies long before, and continued to exist long after, 
in every State save one. Surely, then, it can not be pre- 
sumed that these able and sagacious men intended to stultify 
themselves by declaring that the negro race had rights, 
which nevertheless they were not ready to give them. And 
yet it is evident that we must either impute this crying 
injustice to our revolutionary patriots, or suppose that the 
case of the slaves was not contemplated. 

Nor is this a solitary example, for we have a complete 
parallel to it in the preamble to the Constitution, where the 


important phrase, " We, the people of the United States," 
must be understood with the very same limitation. Who 
were the people ? Undoubtedly the free citizens who voted 
for the Constitution. Were the slaves counted as a part of 
that people ? By no means. The negro race had no voice, 
no vote, no influence whatever in the matter. Thus, there- 
fore, it seems perfectly plain that both these instruments 
must be understood according to the same rule of interpre- 
tation. The slaves were not included in the Declaration of 
Independence, for the same reason precisely that they were 
not included amongst the " people " who adopted the Con- 
stitution of the United States. 

Now it is the established maxim of the law, that every 
written document must be understood according to the true 
intent of the parties when it was executed. The language 
employed may be such that it admits of a different sense ; 
but there can be only one just interpretation, and that is 
fixed unalterably by the apparent meaning of its authors at 
the time. On this ground alone, therefore, I respectfully 
contend that the Declaration of Independence has no claim 
whatever to be considered in the controversy of our day. I 
have stated, at some length, my reasons for rejecting its 
famous propositions, as being totally fallacious and unten- 
able. But even if they were ever so " self-evident," or 
capable of the most rigid demonstration, the rule of law 
utterly forbids us to appeal to them in a sense which they 
were not designed to bear. 

In the second place, however, it should be remembered 
that the Declaration of Independence, whether true or. false, 
whether it be interpreted legally or illegally, forms no part 
of our present system. As a great historical document, it 
stands, and must ever stand, prominent before the nations 
of the world. But it was put forth more than seven years 
anterior to the Constitution. Its language was not adopted 
in that Constitution, and it has no place whatever in the 


obligatory law of the United States. When our orators, 
our preachers, and our politicians, therefore, take its propo- 
sitions about human rights and human equality, and set 
them up as the supreme law; overruling the Constitution 
and the acts of Congress, which are the real law of the land, 
I can not wonder enough at the absurdity of the proceeding. 
And I doubt whether the annals of civilized mankind can 
furnish a stronger instance of unmitigated perversity. 

Thirdly, and lastly, I am utterly opposed to those popular 
propositions, not only because I hold them to be altogether 
fallacious and untrue, for the reasons already given, but 
further, because their tendency is in direct contrariety to 
the precepts of the Gospel, and the highest interests of the 
individual man. For what is the unavoidable effect of this 
doctrine of human equality ? Is it not to nourish the spirit 
of pride, envy, and contention ? to set the servant against 
the master, the poor against the rich, the weak against the 
strong, the ignorant against the educated ? to loosen all 
the bonds and relations of society, and reduce the whole 
duty of subordination to the selfish cupidity of pecuniary 
interest, without an atom of respect for age, for office, for 
law, for government, for Providence, or for the "Word of 

I do not deny, indeed, that this doctrine of equality is a 
doctrine of immense power to urge men forward in a con- 
stant struggle for advancement. Its natural operation is to 
force the vast majority into a ceaseless contest with their 
circumstances, each discontented with his lot, so long as he 
sees any one else above him, and toiling with unceasing 
effort to rise upon the social scale of wealth and importance, 
as fast and as far as he can. There is no principle of stronger 
impulse to stimulate ambition in every department. And 
hence arises its manifold influence on the business, the enter- 
prise, the commerce, the manufactures, the agriculture, the 
amusements, the fashions, and the political strifes of our 


Northern people, making them all restless, all aspiring, and 
all determined, if possible, to pass their rivals in the race of 
selfish emulation. 

But how does it operate on the order, the stability, and 
the ultimate prosperity of the nation ? How does it work 
on the steadfast administration of justice, the honor and 
purity of our public officers, the quiet subordination of the 
various classes in the community, the fidelity and submission 
of domestics, the obedience of children, and the relations of 
family and home ? Above all, how does it harmonize with 
the great doctrines of the Bible, that the Almighty Ruler 
appoints to every man his lot on earth, and commands him 
to be satisfied and thankful for his portion that we must 
submit ourselves to those who have the rule over us that 
we should obey the laws and honor the magistrates that 
the powers that be are ordained of God, and he that resist- 
eth the power shall receive condemnation that we may not 
covet the property of others that having food and raiment, 
we should be therewith content that we must avoid strife, 
contention, and railing accusations, and follow peace, char- 
ity, and good will, remembering that the service of Christ 
is the only perfect freedom, and that our true happiness de- 
pends not on the measure of our earthly wealth, on social 
equality, on honor, or on our relative position in the com- 
munity, but on the fulfilment of our personal duty according 
to our lot, in reliance on his blessing ? 

I have no more to add with respect to this most popular 
dogma of human equality, and shall therefore dismiss it, as 
fallacious in itself, and only mischievous in its tendency. As 
it is the stronghold of the ultra-abolitionist, I have devoted 
a large space to its examination, and trust that the conclu- 
sion is sufficiently plain. Happily it forms no part of our 
Constitution or our laws. It never was intended to apply 
to the question of negro slavery. And it never can be so 
applied without a total perversion of its historical meaning, 


and an absolute contrariety to all the facts of humanity, and 
the clear instruction of the Word of God. 

The next objection to the Slavery of the Southern States 
is its presumed cruelty , because the refractory slave is pun- 
ished with corporal correction. But our Northern law al- 
lows the same in the case of children and apprentices. Such 
was the established system in the army and the navy until 
very lately. The whipping-post was a fixed institution in 
England and Massachusetts, and its, discipline was adminis- 
tered even to free citizens during the last century. Stripes, 
not exceeding forty, were appointed to offenders in Israel 
by divine authority. The Saviour himself used a scourge 
of small cords when he drove the money-changers from the 
temple. Are our modern philanthropists more merciful than 
Christ, and wiser than the Almighty ? 

But it is said that the poor slaves are treated with* barbar- 
ity, and doubtless it may sometimes be true, just as sol- 
diers and sailors, and even wives and children, are shame- 
fully abused amongst ourselves, in many instances. It is 
evident, however, that the system of slavery can not be spe- 
cially liable to reproach on this score, because every motive 
of interest as well as moral duty must be opposed to it. The 
owner of the horse and the ox rarely treats his brutes with 
severity. Why should he ? The animals are his property, 
and he knows that they must be kindly and carefully used 
if he would derive advantage from their labor. Much more 
must the master of the slave be expected to treat him with 
all fairness and affection, because here there are human feel- 
ings to be influenced, and if the servant be not contented 
and attached, not only will he work unwillingly, but he may 
be converted into an enemy and an avenger. When the 
master is a Christian, the principles of the Gospel, as laid 
down by St. Paul, will operate, of course, in favor of the 
slave. But even when these are wanting, the motives of 
interest and prudence remain. And hence I can not doubt 


that the examples of barbarity must be exceedingly few, and 
ought to be regarded, not as the general rule, but as the 
rare exceptions. On the whole, indeed, I see no reason to 
deny the statement of our Southern friends, that their slaves 
are the happiest laborers in the world. Their wants are all 
provided for by their master. Their families are sure of a 
home and maintenance for life. In sickness they are kindly 
nursed. In old age they are affectionately supported. They 
are relieved from all anxiety for the future. Their religious 
privileges are generously accorded to them. Their work is 
light. Their holidays are numerous. And hence the strong 
affection which they usually manifest toward their master, 
and the earnest longing which many, who were persuaded 
to become fugitives, have been known to express, that they 
might be able to return. 

The third objection is, that slavery must be a sin because 
it leads to immorality. But where is the evidence of this ? 
I dispute not against the probability and even the certainty 
that there are instances of licentiousness enough among 
slaveholders, just as there are amongst those who vilify 
them. It would be a difficult, if not an impossible task, 
however, to prove that there is more immorality amongst 
the slaves themselves, than exists amongst the lower class 
of freemen. In Sabbath-breaking, profane cursing and 
swearing, gambling, drunkenness, and quarreling in brutal 
abuse of wives and children, in rowdyism and obscenity, in 
the vilest excesses of shameless prostitution to say nothing 
of organized bands of counterfeiters, thieves and burglars 
I doubt whether there are not more offenses against Christ- 
ian morality committed in the single city of New- York than 
can be found amongst the slave population of all the fifteen 
States together. The fact would rather seem to be that the 
wholesome restraints of slavery, as a general rule, must be, 
to a great extent, an effectual check upon the worst kinds of 
immorality. And therefore this charge, so often brought 


against it, stands entirely unsupported either by positive 
proof or by rational probability. 

The fourth objection is advanced by a multitude of excel- 
lent people, who are shocked at the institution of slavery 
because it involves the principle of property in man. Yet I 
have never been able to understand what it is that so dis- 
gusts them. No slaveholder pretends that this property 
extends any further than the right to the labor of the slave. 
It is obvious to the slightest reflection that slavery can not 
bind the intellect or the soul. These, which properly con- 
stitute the MAIST, are free, in their own nature, from all human 
restraint. But to have a property in human labor, under 
some form, is an essential element in all the work of civiliz- 
ed society. The toil of one is pledged for the service of 
another in every rank of life ; and to the extent thus pledg- 
ed, both parties have a property in each other. The parent 
especially has an established property in the labor of his 
child to the age of twenty-one, and has the further power 
of transferring this property to another by articles of ap- 
prenticeship. But this, it may be said, ends when the child 
is of age. True ; because the law presumes him to be then 
fitted for freedom. Suppose, however, that he belonged to 
an inferior race which the law did not presume to be fitted 
for freedom at any age, what good reason could be assigned 
against the continuance of the property ? Such, under the 
rule of the Scriptures and the Constitution of the United 
States, is the case of the negro. God, in his wisdom and 
providence, caused the patriarch ISToah to predict that he 
should be the servant of servants to the posterity of Japheth. 
And the same almighty Ruler, who alone possesses the 
power, has wonderfully adapted the race to their condition. 
For every candid observer agrees that the negro is happier 
and better as a slave than as a free man, and no individual 
belonging to the Anglo-Saxon stock would acknowledge that 
the intellect of the negro is equal to his own. 


There have been philosophers and physiologists who con- 
tended that the African race were not strictly entitled to be 
called men at all, but were a sort of intermediate link be- 
tween the baboon and the human being. And this notion 
is still maintained by some at the present day. For myself, 
however, I can only say that I repudiate the doctrine with 
my whole heart. The Scriptures show me that the negro, 
like all other races, descends from Xoah, and I hold him to 
be a MAN AND A BROTHER. But though he be my brother, 
it does not follow that he is my equal. Equality can not be 
found on earth between the brothers even in one little fam- 
ily. In the same house, one brother usually obtains a mas- 
tery over the rest, and sometimes rules them with a perfect 
despotism. In England, the -elder brother inherits the es- 
tate, and the younger brothers take a lower rank by the 
slavery of circumstances. The eldest son of the royal family 
is in due time the king, and his brothers forthwith become 
his subjects. Why should not the same principle obtain in 
the races of mankind, if the Almighty has so willed it ? The 
Anglo-Saxon race is king ; why should not the African race 
be subject, and subject in that way for which it is best 
adapted, and in which it may be more safe, more useful, and 
more happy than in any other which has yet been opened 
to it, in the annals of the world ? 

I know that there may be exceptions, now and then, to 
this intellectual inferiority of the negro race, though I be- 
live it would be very difficult to find one, unless the inter- 
mixture of superior blood has operated to change the mental 
constitution of the individual. For all such cases the master 
may provide by voluntary emancipation, and it is notorious 
that this emancipation has been cheerfully given in thousands 
upon thousands of instances, in the majority of which the 
gift of liberty has failed to benefit the negro, and has, on the 
contrary, sunk him far lower in his social position. But no 
reflecting man can believe that the great mass of the slaves, 


amounting to nearly four millions, are qualified for free- 
dom. And therefore it is incomparably better for them to 
remain under the government of their masters, who are likely 
to provide for them so much more beneficially than they could 
provide for themselves. 

The difference then, between the power of the Northern 
parent and the Southern slaveholder, is reduced to this, 
namely, that the master has a property in the labor of his 
slave for life, instead of having it only to the age of twenty- 
one, because the law regards the negro as being always a 
child in understanding, requiring a superior mind to govern 
and direct him. But, on the other hand, the slave has just as 
really a property for life in his masters support and protec- 
tion, and this property is secured to him by the same law, in 
sickness and in health, in the helplessness of old age, as well 
as in the days of youthful vigor, including, besides, a comfort- 
able maintenance for his wife and family. Can any rational 
judgment devise a fairer equivalent ? 

The fifth objection which often meets the Northern ear, 
proceeds from the overweening value attached, in our age and 
country, to the name of liberty, since it is common to call it 
the dearest right of man, and to esteem its loss as the great- 
est possible calamity. Hence we frequently find persons 
who imagine that the whole argument is triumphantly set- 
tled by the question : "JETow would you like to be a slave ?" 

In answer to this very puerile interrogatory, I should say 
that whether any condition in life is to be regarded as a loss 
or an advantage, depends entirely on circumstances. Sup- 
pose, for example, that the Mayor of New- York should ask 
one of its merchant-princes : " How would you like to be a 
policeman ?" I doubt whether the question might not be 
taken for an insult, and some words of indignation would 
probably be uttered in reply. But suppose that the same 
question were addressed to an Irish laborer, with what feel- 
ings would he receive it ? Assuredly with those of gratitude 


and pleasure. The reason of the difference is obvious, because 
the employment which would be a degradation to the one, 
offers promotion and dignity to the other. In like manner, 
slavery, to an individual of the Anglo-Saxon race, which oc- 
cupies so high a rank in human estimation, would be a de- 
basement not to be thought of with patience for a moment. 
And yet, to the Guinea negro, sunk in heathen barbarism, it 
would be a happy change to place him in the hands of a 
Southern master. Even now, though the slaves have no idea 
of the pagan abominations from which their forefathers were 
taken, it is said that they usually value their privileges as 
being far superior to the condition of the free negroes around 
them, and prefer the certainty of protection and support for 
life, to the hazards of the liberty on which the abolitionist 
advises them to venture. How much more would they prize 
their present lot, if they uncflrstood that, were it not for this 
very institution of slavery, they would be existing in the 
darkest idolatry and licentiousness among the savages of 
Africa, under the despotic King of Dahomey, destitute of 
every security for earthly comfort, and deprived of all reli- 
gious hope for the world to come ! 

If men would reflect maturely on the subject, they would 
soon be convinced that liberty is a blessing to those, and 
only those, who are able to use it wisely. There -are thou- 
sands in our land, free according to law, but so enslaved to 
vice and the misery consequent on vice, that it would be a 
mercy to place them, supposing it were possible, under the 
rule of some other will, stronger and better than their own. 
As it is, they are in bondage to Satan, notwithstanding their 
imaginary freedom ; and they do his bidding, not merely in 
the work of the body, but in the far worse slavery of the 
soul. Strictly speaking, however, the freest man on earth 
has no absolute liberty, for this belongs alone to God, and is 
not given to any creature. And hence it is the glory of the 
Christian to be the bond servant of the divine Redeemer 


who " bought us to himself with his own precious blood." 
The service of CHRIST, as saith the Apostle, is " the only 
perfect freedom" All who refuse that service, are slaves 
of necessity to other masters ; slaves to Mammon ; slaves to 
ambition ; slaves to lust ; slaves to intemperance ; slares to 
a thousand forms of anxious care and perplexity ; slaves at 
best to pride and worldly decorum, and slaves to circum- 
stances over which they have no control. And they are 
compelled to labor without ceasing under some or all of 
these despotic rulers, at the secret will of that spiritual task- 
master, whose bondage does not end at death, but continues 
to eternity. 

The sixth objection arises from the fact that slavery sepa- 
rates the husband from the wife and the parents from the 
children. Undoubtedly it sometimes does so from necessity. 
Before we adopt this fact, however, as an argument against 
slavery, it is only fair to inquire whether the same separa- 
tion do not take place, perhaps quite as frequently, amongst 
those who call themselves free. The laboring man who has 
a large family is always obliged to separate from his child- 
ren, because it is impossible to support them in his humble 
home. They are sent to service, therefore, one to this mas- 
ter and another to that, or bound as apprentices, as the case 
may be, and thus the domestic relations are superseded by 
strangers, for the most part beyond recovery. So among 
the lower orders, the husbands are separated from their 
wives by the same necessity. How many, even of the 
better classes, have left their homes to seek their fortune 
in the gold regions ! How many in Europe have aban- 
doned their families for Australia, or the United States, or 
the Canadas ! How many desert them from pure wicked- 
ness a crime which can hardly happen under the South- 
ern system ! But above all, how constantly does this sepa- 
ration take place amongst our soldiers and sailors, so that 
neither war nor foreign commerce could be carried on at 


all without it ! All these are borne by freemen, under the 
slavery of circumstances. Is it wise to declaim against this 
necessity in one form, when we are forced to submit to it in 
BO many other kinds of the same infliction ? 

There is only one other argument which occurs to me, 
requiring notice, and that is based upon the erroneous no- 
tion that the laws of God under the Mosaic dispensation al- 
lowed polygamy as well as slavery ; and, therefore, it is 
inferred that the legislation of the Old Testament is of no 
authority upon the subject, but as the Gospel did away the 
first, so also it should do away the other. 

The facts here are misunderstood, and the inference is 
without any real foundation. Let us look at the matter as 
it is explained by the Saviour himself. "The Pharisees 
came to him, tempting him, and saying unto him : Is it law- 
ful for a man to put away his wife for every cause ? And 
he answered and said unto them : Have ye not read that he 
which made them at the beginning made them male and fe- 
male ; and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and 
mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they twain shall be 
one flesh ? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one 
flesh. What, therefore, God hath joined together, let no 
man put asunder. They say unto him : Why did Moses then 
command to give a writing of divorcement, and put her 
away ? He saith unto them : Moses, because of the hard- 
ness of your hearts, suffered you to put away your wives, 
but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, 
Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornica- 
tion, and shall marry another, committeth adultery, and 
whoso marrieth her that is put away doth commit adultery." 
(Matt. 19: 3-9.) 

Now here our Lord plainly lays down the original law of 
marriage, referring expressly to Adam and Eve, one man 
and one woman, declared to be one flesh, and adding the 
command, What God hath joined together -, let no man put 


asunder. But it is evident that polygamy must, of neces- 
sity, interfere with this divine union. The twain can no 
longer be oneflesh, when another wife is brought between 
them, because the new wife must deprive the former one of 
her exclusive rights and privileges, and the husband de- 
stroys the very unity which God designed in joining them 
together. The doctrine of our Saviour, therefore, restores 
the law of marriage to its original sanctity ; and the apostles, 
accordingly, always speak of the wife in the singular num- 
ber, in no instance appearing to contemplate the possibility 
of the Christian having more wives than one, while, in the 
case of a bishop, St. Paul specifies it as an essential condition 
that he shall be " the husband of one wife." (l Tim. 3 : 2.) 
But how had the chosen people been allowed for so many 
centuries to practice polygamy, and divorce their wives for 
the slightest cause ? Our Lord explains it by saying that 
Moses suffered them to put away their wives " because of 
the hardness of their hearts." The special questions ad- 
dressed to him by the Pharisees did not, indeed, refer to 
polygamy, but only to the liberty of divorce, for at that 
time it should seem that the practice of polygamy had well- 
nigh ceased in Judea, and it is certainly not countenanced 
by the Jewish laws at this day. The principle, however, is 
precisely the same in the two cases. Dissatisfaction with 
the present wife and desire for another were the cause of 
action in both ; and when the husband did not wish to be 
burdened by the murmurs or the support of his old com- 
panion, he would naturally prefer to send her away, in order 
to make room for her successor. We see, then, how readily 
this facility of divorce became the mode in which the Jews 
of that day sought for the gratification of their capricious 
attachments, instead of the more expensive and troublesome 
system of polygamy. And hence our Lord applied the 
remedy, where it was specially required, by forbidding 
divorces unless for the weightiest cause, such as adultery. 


Yet this -was no change in the divine arrangement, which* 
had been the same from the beginning. He expressly de- 
clares, on the contrary, that the latitude assumed by the 
Israelites was an indulgence granted by Moses, on account 
of " the hardness of their hearts." . And this is a very dif- 
ferent thing from an authoritative decree of the Almighty. 

It is surely therefore manifest, from this language of our 
Saviour, that God had never given any direct sanction to 
polygamy. Doubtless, as we must infer from many parts 
of the Old Testament, it had become common among the 
Israelites, who, supposing themselves justified by the case 
of Jacob, had probably adopted it in so many instances that 
Moses did not think it safe or prudent to put it down, lest 
worse evils might follow, unless he was constrained to do so 
by the positive command of the Almighty. All that can be 
truly stated, therefore, is, that no such positive command 
was given, and the Deity left the human law-giver to use 
his own discretion in the matter. 

Such is the aspect of this question, according to the state- 
ment of our Lord, which must be conclusive to every Christ- 
ian. And hence we may perceive, at once, that the case is 
in no respect parallel to that of slavery. For here the Al- 
mighty caused his favored servant Noah to predict that the 
posterity of Ham should be the servants of servants, under 
the descendants of Shem and Japheth. He recognized the 
bondman and the bondmaid in the Ten Commandments. He 
laid down the positive law to Israel, that they should buy 
the children of the heathen that were round about them, 
and of the strangers who dwelt in their land, to serve them 
and their families forever. The Saviour, when he appeared, 
made no allusion to the subject, but plainly declared that 
he had not come to destroy the law. The first church of 
believers in Jerusalem were all " zealous " for the law. And 
St. Paul preached obedience to the slaves among the Gentile 
churches, and sent a converted slave back to his Christian 


Where, then', is the resemblance between these cases? 
In the matter of divorce and polygamy, the Deity is silent, 
leaving them to the discretion of Moses, until the Messiah 
should come. But in regard to the slavery of Ham's pos- 
terity, he issues his commands distinctly. And the Saviour 
disclaims the intention to repeal the laws of his heavenly 
Father, while he asserts the original design of marriage, 
and his inspired Apostle gives express sanction to slavery, 
and speaks of the one husband and the one wife, in direct 
accordance with the word of his divine Master. Here, 
therefore, it is plain that the cases are altogether unlike, 
and present a contrast, rather than a comparison. 

We know that the doctrine of the primitive church was 
in harmony with this, for polygamy was never permitted, 
nor divorces for trifling causes ; while slavery was allowed, 
as being perfectly lawful, so long as the slave was treated 
with justice and kindness. The ancient canons sometimes 
advert to the mode in which slaves might be corrected. 
Bishops and clergy held slaves. In later times, bondmen 
and bondmaids were in the service of convents and monas- 
teries. And no scruple was entertained upon the subject 
until the close of the last century, when the new light burst 
forth which now dazzles the eyes of so many worthy people, 
and blinds them not only to the plain statements of Scrip- 
tures, but to the interests of national unity and peace. 

Thus, then, I have examined the various topics embraced 
in your inquiry, and the conclusion which I have been com- 
pelled to adopt must be sufficiently manifest. The slavery 
of the negro race, as maintained in the Southern States, ap- 
pears to me fully authorized, both in the Old and the New 
Testament, which, as the written Word of God, afford the 
only infallible standard of moral rights and obligations. 
That very slavery, in my humble judgment, has raised the 
negro incomparably higher in the scale of humanity, and 
seems, in fact, to be the only instrumentality through which 


the heathen posterity of Ham have been raised at all. Out 
of that slavery has arisen the interesting colony of Liberia, 
planted by slaveholders, to be a place of refuge for their 
emancipated bondmen, and destined, as I hope, to be a rich 
benefit, in its future growth and influence, to Africa and to 
the world. I do not forget, and I trust that I do not under- 
value, the missionary work of England and our own land, 
in that benighted continent. But I believe that the number 
of negroes Christianized and civilized at the South, through 
the system of slavery, exceeds the product of those mission- 
ary labors, in a proportion of thousands to one. And thus 
the wisdom and goodness of God are vindicated in the sanc- 
tion which his Word has given, and the sentence originally 
pronounced on Canaan as a curse has been converted into a 

I have now gone over the whole ground covered by youi 
kind application, and would only here repeat that, on the 
question of slavery, which lies at the root of all our present 
difficulties, I have obeyed the rule of conscience and of duty, 
in opposition to my habits, my prejudices, and my sympa- 
thies, all of which would tend strongly to the other side. I 
need hardly say that I am no politician. More than forty 
years have elapsed since I ceased even to attend the polls. 
But as a Christian, I am bound to accept the doctrine of the 
appstles for my guide. And as a citizen, I am bound to 
sustain the Constitution of the United States, and defend 
those principles of law, and order, and friendly comity, 
which every State should faithfully regard in its relations to 
the rest. Nor is this the first time that I have expressed 
my opinions. In a lecture at Buffalo, published in 1850, and 
again in a volume entitled The American Citizen, printed 
by Pudney and Russell, in 1857, I set forth the same views 
on the subject of slavery ; adding, however, a plan for its 
gradual abolition, whenever the South should consent, and 
the whole strength of the Government could aid in its ac- 


complishment. Sooner or later, I believe that some mea- 
sure of that character must be adopted. But it belongs to 
the Slave States themselves to take the lead in such a move- 
ment. And meanwhile their legal rights and their natural 
feelings must be respected, if we would hope for unity and 

In conclusion, I would only say, that I am perfectly aware 
how distasteful my sentiments must be, on this very serious 
question, to the great majority of my respected fellow-citi- 
zens, in the region where divine Providence has cast my 
lot. It would assuredly be far more agreeable if I could 
conscientiously conform to the opinions of my friends, to 
whose ability, sincerity, and zeal, I am ready to give all 
just commendation. But it would be mere moral cowardice 
in me to suppress what I believe to be the truth, for the 
sake of popularity. It can not be long before I shall stand 
at the tribunal of that Almighty and unerring Judge, who 
has given us the inspired Scriptures to be our supreme 
directory in every moral and religious duty. My gray hairs 
admonish me that I may soon be called to give an account 
of my stewardship. And I have no fear of the sentence 
which He will pronounce upon an honest though humble 
effort to sustain the authority of His WOKD, in just alliance 
with the Constitution, the peace, and the public welfare of 
my country. 

With the fervent prayer that the Spirit of wisdom, unity, 
and fraternal kindness may guide our National Congress, 
the Legislatures of the several States, and the sovereign will 
of our whole people, to a happy accommodation of every 
existing difficulty, 

I remain, with great regard, 

Your faithful servant in Christ, 

Bishop of the Diocese of Vermont. 


I had anticipated the probability that the republication 
of the foregoing pamphlet would bring down upon me a 
liberal share of abuse and contumely from the abolition 
Press, and I was prepared to submit to it with quiet resigna- 
tion. But I was not prepared for the extraordinary sentence 
of " indignant reprobation" which the Bishop of Pennsyl- 
vania, and a majority of his clergy, thought fit to fulminate 
against my course, in the following form, viz. : 



" The subscribers deeply regret that the fact of the exten- 
sive circulation through this Diocese of a letter by John 
Henry Hopkins, Bishop of the Diocese of Vermont, in de- 
fense of Southern Slavery, compels them to make this public 
protest. It is not their province to mix in any political can- 
vas. But as ministers of Christ, in the Protestant Episcopal 
Church, it becomes them to deny any complicity or sympathy 
with such a defense." 

"This attempt not only to apologize for slavery in the ab- 
stract, but to advocate it as it exists in the cotton States, and 
in States which sell men and women in the open market as 
their staple product, is, in their judgment, unworthy of any 
servant of Jesus Christ. As an effort to sustain, on Bible 
principles, the States in rebellion against the government, in 
the wicked attempt to establish by force of arm's a tyranny 
under the name of a Republic, whose ' corner-stone J shall 
be the perpetual bondage of the African, it challenges their 
indignant reprobation." 

PHILADELPHIA, September, 1863. 

"Alonzo Potter, * John A. Vaughan, W. H. D. Hatton, 

John Rodney, Charles D. Cooper, Thomas W. Martin, 

E. A. Washburne, Wilbur F. Paddock, Alfred Elwin, 
Peter Van Pelt, Thomas Crumpton, James W. Robins, 



H. W. Ducachet, 
John S. Stone, 
George Leeds, 
Richard D. Hall, 
Joseph D. Newlin, 

B. Wistar Morris, 
Daniel S. Miller, 
Kingston Goddard, 
Phillips Brooks, 
Addison B. Atkins, 
Herman Hooker, 
Benjamin Watson, 
Edward L. Lycett, 
Lewis W. Gibson, 
R. W. Oliver, 
Henry Brown, 

W. R. Stockton, 
Edward A. Foggo, 
J. Isador Mombert, 
Joel Rudderow, 
Archibald Beatty, 

C. A. L. Richards, 
George A. Strong, 
Gustavus M. Murray, 
George W.. Shinn, 
Samuel Hall, 
George G. Field, 
Reese C. Evans, 
Robert G. Chase, 
Samuel Hazlehurst, 
Edwin N. Lightner, 
David C. Page, 
John Cromlish, 
William Preston, 
George Slattery, 
Francis J. Clerc, 
Robert J. Parvin, 
Thomas S. Yocom, 
Benjamin Dorr, 
Jehu C. Clay, 
William Suddards, 

George D. Miles, 
B. B. Killikelly, 
Alexander McLeod, 
Leighton Coleman, 
Richard Smith, 
Thomas H. Cullen, 
J. McAlpin Harding, 
William Ely, 
Marison Byllesby, 
J. Livingston Reese, 
Augustus A. Marple, 
B. T. Noakes, 
D. Otis Kellogg, 
Daniel Washburn, 
Samuel E. Smith, 
Treadwell Walden, 
Herman L. Duhring, 
Charles M. Dupuy, 
John H. Babcock, 
Anson B. Hard, 
George A. Latimer, 
R. Heber Newton, 
John G. Furey, 
Charles A. Maison, 
R. H. Brown, 
Richard Newton, 
G. Emlen Hare, 
W. W. Spear, 
H. J. Morton, 
Jacob M. Douglass, 
R. A. Garden, 
R. C. Matlack, 
L. Ward Smith, 
Samuel E. Appleton, 
William J. Alston, 
John Adams Jerome, 
Joseph A. Stone, 
Albra Wadleigh, 
W. S. Perkins, 
Francis E. Arnold, 
George H. Jenks, 

George Bringhurst, 
Charles W. Duane, 
George B. Allinson, 
Joseph N. Mulford, 
James DeW. Perry, 
Thomas G. Clemson, 
Francis D. Hoskins, 
William P. Lewis, 
J. L. Heysinger, 
John Long, 
Ormes B. Keith, 
William N. Diehl, 
Charles W. Quick, 
H. T. Wells, 

D. C. Millett, 

J. W. Leadenham, 
Frederick W. Beasley, 
John P. Lundy, 
George A. Crooke, 
Richardson Graham, 

E. S. Watson, 
Samuel Edwards, 
George A. Durborow, 
Joseph R Moore, 
Thomas B. Barker, 

S. Tweedale, 
Marcus A. Tolman, 
John H. Drumm, 
J. Newton Spear, 
Louis C. Newman, 
Edward C. Jones, 
E. W. Hening, 
Samuel Durburow, 
C. C. Parker, 
Henry Purdon, 

Benjamin H. Abbott, 
John H. Marsden, 
Samuel B. Dalrymple, 
William V. Feltwell, 
John Leithtad, 
George C.- Drake, 


D. R. Goodwin, William S. Heaton, Peter Russell, 

M. A. DeW. Howe, John Reynolds, . George Kirke, 

Henry S. Spackman, William Hilton, Henry B. Bartow, 

James May, Washington B. Erben, John K. Murphy, 

John A. Childs, John Ireland, J. F. Ohl, 

Thomas C. Yarnall, Benjamin J. Douglass, John Tetlow, 

Edward Lounsbery, D. C. James, J. C. Laverty, 

Henry M. Stuart, ~'E. N. Potter, Charles Higbee, 

J. Gordon Maxwell, Roberts Paul, S. T. Lord. 

Robert B. Peet, William Wright, 

The answer to this strange assault was the following : 

To the Eight Rev. Alonzo Potter, of the Diocese of Pennsyl- 
vania : 

I have seen, with great amazement, a protest against my 
letter on the " Bible View of Slavery," signed by you and a 
long list of your clergy, in which you condemn it as " un- 
worthy of any servant of Jesus Christ," as "an effort to sus- 
tain, on Bible principles, the States in rebellion against the 
government in the wicked attempt to establish, by force of 
arms, a tyranny in the name of a Republic, whose corner- 
stone shall be the perpetual bondage of the African," and as 
such you say that it challenges your "indignant reproba- 

Now, my Right Reverend brother, I am sorry to be obliged 
to charge you, not only with a gross insult against your senior, 
but with the more serious offense of a false accusation. My 
letter was first published in January, 1861, more than three 
months before the war began, at a time when no one could 
anticipate the form of Government which the Southern States 
should adopt, or the course which Congress might take in 
reference to their secession. And when I consented to its 
publication, I did not suppose that it would be used in the 
service of any political party, although I had no right to 
complain if it were so used, because the letter, once pub- 
lished, beomme public property. But in its present form 
there is nothing whatever in it which bears on the question 


of " rebellion," or of " the perpetual bondage of the African," 
or of " tyranny under the name of a Republic," of which 
slavery should be the " corner-stone." On the contrary, I 
referred, on the last page, to my lecture published in Buffalo 
in 1850, and to my book called The American Citizen, 
published in New York in 1857, where " I set forth the same 
views on the subject of slavery, adding, however, a plan for 
its gradual abolition, whenever the South should consent, 
and the whole strength of the Government could aid in its 
accomplishment." " Sooner or later," I added, " I believe 
that some measure of that character must be adopted. But 
it belongs to the Slave States themselves to take the lead in 
such a movement. And meanwhile their legal rights and 
their natural feelings must be respected, if we would hope 
for unity and peace." 

With these facts before your eyes, I am totally at a loss 
to imagine how even the extravagance of party zeal could 
frame against me so bitter a denunciation. The whole object 
of my letter was to prove, from the Bible, that in the rela- 
tion of master and slave there was necessarily no sin what- 
ever. The sin, if there were any, lay in the treatment of the 
slave, and not in the relation itself. Of course, it was liable 
to abuse, as all human relations must be. But while it was 
certain that thousands of our Christian brethren who held 
slaves were treating them with kindness and justice, accord- 
ing to the Apostle's rule, and earnestly laboring to improve 
the comforts and ameliorate the hardships of the institution, 
I held it to be a cruel and absurd charge to accuse them as 
sinners against the Divine law, when they were only doing 
what the Word of God allowed, under the Constitution and 
established code of their country. 

I do not know whether your band of indignant reproba- 
tionists ever saw my book published in 1857, but you read 
it, because I sent you a copy, and have your letter of ac- 
knowledgment, in which, while you dissented from some of 


my conclusions, you did it with the courtesy of a Christian 
gentleman. In that letter there is nothing said about my 
opinions being " unworthy of any minister of Jesus Christ," 
and nothing of " indignant reprobation." But tempora mu- 
tantur, et nos mutamur in illis. 

Yes ; the times are indeed sadly changed, and you have 
changed accordingly. For many years you have met in 
brotherly council with these same Southern slaveholders. 
You invited them to the hospitalities of your house, and paid 
them special deference. The new light of Eastern Aboli- 
tionism had not yet risen within our Church, and if you then 
thought as you now think, you took excellent care that no 
man amongst your Southern friends should know it. More- 
over, your favorite Theological Seminary, only three years 
ago, was the Virginia school at Alexandria, raised to great 
prosperity by Bishop Meade a slaveholder; and I am very 
sure that nothing at variance with my view of slavery was 
ever taught in that institution. Yes ; we may well say of 
you, as of many others, quantum mutatus ab itto ! How 
changed is the Bishop of Pennsylvania in three years from 
his former course of conservatism, peace, and Scriptural con- 
sistency ! 

But the Word of God has not changed ; the doctrine of 
the Apostles has not changed ; the Constitution of our coun- 
try has not changed ; the great standards of religious truth 
and real civic loyalty remain just as they were ; and I re- 
main along with them, notwithstanding this bitter and un- 
just assault from you and your clergy. I do not intend to 
imitate your late style of vituperation, for I trust that I 
have learned, even when I am reviled, not to revile again. 
I respect the good opinion of your clergy, and am not 
aware that I have done any thing to forfeit it. I respect 
your office, your talents, your personal character, and the 
wisdom and success with which, for many years, your Epis- 
copate has been conducted. But I do not resDect your 


departure from the old and well-settled rule of the Church, 
and from the Apostolic law of Christian fairness and court- 
esy. I do not believe in the modern discovery of those 
Eastern philanthropists who deny the divinity of our Re- 
deemer, and attach no importance to the Bible except as it 
may suit themselves. I do not believe that the venerated 
founders of our American Church were ignorant of the 
Scriptures, and blind to the principles of Gospel morality. 
I do not believe that Washington and his compatriots, who 
framed our Constitution with such express provisions for the 
rights of slaveholders, were tyrants and despots sinners 
against the law of God and the feelings of humanity. But 
I do believe in the teaching of the inspired Apostles, and in 
the Holy Catholic (or universal) Church, which you and 
your clergy also profess to believe. I know that the doctrine 
of that Church was clear and unanimous on the lawfulness 
of slavery for eighteen centuries together ; and on that point 
I regard your " protest" and " indignant reprobation" as the 
idle wind that passes by. 

I wish you, therefore, to be advertised that I shall publish, 
within a few months, if a gracious Providence should spare 
my life and faculties, a full demonstration of the truth 
" wherein I stand." And I shall prove in that book, by the 
most unquestionable authorities, that slaves and slaveholders 
were in the Church from the beginning ; that slavery was 
held to be consistent with Christian principle by the fathers 
and councils, and by all Protestant divines and commenta- 
tors, up to the very close of the last century, and that this 
fact was universal among all churches and sects throughout 
the Christian world. I shall contend that our Church, 
which maintains the primitive rule of catholic consent and 
abjures all novelties, is bound, by her constitution, to hold 
fast that only safe and enduring rule, or abandon her apos- 
tolic claims, and descend to the level of those who are 
" driven about by every wind of doctrine." And I shall 


print your " indignant reprobation," with its long list of 
names, in the Introduction, so that if I can not give you fame, 
I may, at least, do my part to give you notoriety. 

That the nineteenth century is a period of vast improve- 
ment and wonderful discovery in the arts and sciences, I 
grant as willingly as any man. But in religious truth or 
reverence for the Bible, the age in which we live is pro- 
lific in daring and impious innovation. We have seen pro- 
fessedly Christian communities divided and subdivided on 
every side. We have seen the rise and spread of Universal- 
ism, Millerism, Pantheism, Mormonism, and Spiritualism. 
We have seen our venerable mother Church of England 
sorely agitated by the contagious fever of change, on the 
one hand toward superstition, and on the other toward in- 
fidel rationalism. And we have heard the increasing clamor 
against the Bible, sometimes from the devotees of geological 
speculation, sometimes from the bold deniers of miracles and 
prophecy, and, not least upon the list, from the loud-tongued 
apostles of anti-slavery. We have marked the orators which 
cry : "Down with the Bible if it maintains the lawfulness of 
slavery." We have marveled at the senatorial eloquence 
which proclaimed that " It was high time to have an anti- 
slavery God and an anti-slavery Bible." We have heard 
the Constitution of our country denounced as "A covenant 
with death and hell." We have heard the boasted deter- 
mination that the Union shall never be restored, until its pro- 
vision for the protection of slavery is utterly abolished. And 
what is the result of all this philanthropy ? The fearful judg- 
ment of God has descended to chastise these multiplied acts 
of rebellion against His divine Government, and what the 
final catastrophe shall be is only known to Him who seeth the 
end from the beginning. 

After forty years spent in the ministry, more than thirty of 
which have been passed in the office of a bishop, I can look 
back with humble thankfulness to the Giver of all good for 


this, at least, that all my best labors have been directed to 
the preservation of the Church from the inroads of doctrinal 
innovation. At my ordination I promised " so to minister 
the DOCTRINE and sacraments and discipline of Christ, as the 
Lord hath commanded, and as this Church hath received the 
same," and certain it is that " this Church " had not received 
the modern doctrine of ultra-abolitionism at that time, as I 
trust she never will receive it, because it is contrary to the 
sacred Scriptures. I also promised " with all faithful dili- 
gence to banish and drive away from the Church all erron- 
eous and strange doctrines contrary to God's word," and I 
made those promises in the true sense which the venerable 
Bishop White, my ordainer, attached to them. I believed 
then as he believed, that our Southern brethren committed 
no sin in having slaves, and that they were men of as much 
piety as any ministers in our communion. I believed as he 
believed, that the plain precepts and-practice of the Apostles 
sanctioned the institution, although, as a matter of expediency 
the time might come when the South would prefer, as the 
North had done, to employ free labor. These promises I 
have kept faithfully to the present day : and if, when I am 
drawing near to the end of my career, I am to be condemned 
and vilified by you and your clergy, because I still maintain 
them to the utmost of my slender ability, be assured, my 
Right Reverend Brother, that I shall regret the fact much 
more on your account than on my own. 

In conclusion, I have only to say that I feel no resentment 
for the grossly insulting style of your manifesto. The sta- 
bility and unity of the Church of God are the only interests 
which I desire to secure, and I am too old in experience to 
be much moved by the occasional excesses of human in- 
firmity. JOHN H. HOPKINS, 

Bishop of the Diocese of Vermont. 

BUELINGTON, VT., Oct. 5, 1863. 



My readers are now in possession of all the facts which 
led to the publication of the present volume. What I pro- 
mised in my reply to my clerical assailants, I have fulfilled, 
as I trust will be manifest from the numerous testimonies 
which I have adduced upon the subject. Knowing, as I do, 
that I stand upon the ground which the Church of God has 
occupied from the beginning, I have no fears for the result 
of the conflict. It may be, indeed, that the subtlety of 
Satan, clothed like an angel of light, may succeed in dividing 
the Church to which I belong, as he has already divided so 
many Christian communities. It may be that the authority 
of the Bible, the writings of the fathers, the decrees of coun- 
cils, the concurrent judgment of Protestant divines, and the 
Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, may all 
be unable to resist the combined assaults of mistaken philan- 
thropy, in union with infidelity, fanaticism, and political ex- 
pediency. It may be that we are in " the last days when 
perilous times shall come," and that the predicted reign of 
the great Antichrist is impending. But however this may be, 
I desire that my lot may be found with the old martyrs and 
confessors of the primitive Church, and with their true suc- 
cessors. I believe that even though the enemy may come 
in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard 
against him. And I trust that the divine Redeemer, who 
has promised to be with the Church to the end of the world, 
will guard His heritage from the irruption of " all erroneous 
and strange doctrines," and preserve His faithful people in 
unity and peace. 





RIGHT REVEREND BROTHER : Before I enter on the main subject of 
this volume, I must take the liberty of premising a brief statement 
of my own position in relation to the controversy. I am no lover of 
slavery, and no advocate for its perpetuity any longer than circum- 
stances may seem to require. It would be strange if I were. Born 
in Ireland, educated from my ninth year, partly in Trenton and Bor- 
dentown, but chiefly in Philadelphia, resident in Pittsburgh during 
my practice of the law, and the first eight years of my ministry ; re- 
moved from thence to Boston, and then, after my election to the epis- 
copal office, becoming a citizen of Vermont, where I have lived for 
more than thirty years all my habits, sympathies, and associations 
are opposed to slavery, and in , favor of abolition. But I hold that 
abolition can only be lawfully accomplished on the grounds of a just 
and wise expediency, with a sacred regard to the Holy Scriptures, 
which are the standard of the Christian faith, in accordance with the 
real welfare of the colored race, in harmony with the wishes as well 
as the best interests of the Southern States, and with a full recogni- 
tion of the rights intended to be secured to them by the Federal 

My views on this subject, as I have stated in the introduction, were 
first published in a lecture delivered at Buffalo and Lockport in 1850, 
and afterwards in a volume entitled, The American Citizen, printed 
in 1857, a copy of which was sent to you and to the other Bishops 
of our Church, according to my general custom. In both of these I 
devoted a large space to a plan of gradual and thorough abolition, 
in connection with the planting of the emancipated negroes on the 
slave coast of Africa, under the fostering care of commissioners, so 
that a belt of colored republics should eventually be established in 
connection with Liberia, to regenerate that heathen and benighted 


continent ; while the Southern masters should be paid the full value, 
and be enabled to replace their former slaves with free laborers. But 
this I proposed to have effected with the cordial assent of the South- 
ern States and the cooperation of the Federal Government, devoting 
to it the whole avails of the public lands, and, if necessary, aiding it 
by direct taxation. And meanwhile I maintained the rights of the 
South to the peaceable enjoyment of their domestic institution, on 
the authority of the Scriptures and the Constitution of our country ; 
while I earnestly urged the high expediency of the course which I 
recommended, to themselves, to the Union, to Africa, and ultimately 
to the whole civilized world. 

The lecture published in 1850 was sent to the lamented Henry 
Clay, then on his sick-bed, and I have his answer in a long letter, 
written by another hand at his dictation, but signed by himself, in 
which he expressed his approbation in strong terms, and wished that 
the pamphlet could be read by every intelligent man throughout the 
country. The plan presented by the President of the United States 
in his Message to the Congress of 1862, was substantially the same, 
and my suggestions were further developed by the lectures delivered 
in many places by Mr. Elihu Burritt. I do not know that either the 
President or Mr. Burritt derived their views from me, but I believe 
that I was the first writer who published them, although I have since 
seen it stated that Mr. King, of New- York, and General Harrison 
had proposed a similar scheme. My own conclusions, however, were 
derived from a combination of the act of the British Parliament, 
when they emancipated the slaves in Jamaica, with the principles of 
the American Colonization Society. The main difficulty was to show 
that the measure was practicable as well as expedient. And certain 
it is, that if our leading statesmen had been willing, it might have 
been successfully inaugurated and ultimately accomplished at less 
than half the sum which our mournful war has already cost the 

I mention these facts here more fully than in my late letter, not 
for the purpose of telling you what you knew before, but in order to 
inform my friends that I have not changed my former opinions that 
I am, and always shall be, in favor of a gradual, just, and kindly 
abolition of slavery, whenever it may please Divine Providence to 
incline the minds of Southern statesmen to adopt it. But then, as 
now, I stood forth as an honest and conscientious advocate for their 


rights. Then, as now, I contended that the fair admission of those 
rights was essential to the peace and welfare of the Union. Then, 
as now, I opposed the extravagance of ultra-abolitionism, because I 
believed it to be hostile to the divine authority of the Bible, hostile 
to the Church of God, hostile to the best interests of the slaves 
themselves, and hostile to the safety and prosperity of our country. 

Having thus stated the kind of abolitionism which I have always 
advocated in my humble sphere, I proceed to set forth the ultra-abo- 
lition doctrine which I am bound to condemn, in order that the line 
may be distinctly drawn between them. This doctrine rests upon 
the wild and unscriptural assumption that it is a SIN in the sight of 
heaven to hold a human being in bondage under any circumstances 
that the relation of master and slave is utterly abhorrent to the 
principles of Christianity that the Constitution of the United States, 
which gives protection to the slaveholder and grants a right of suf- 
frage based on the slave population of the South, is " a covenant 
with death and an agreement with hell" that there is a "higher 
law" of humanity which justifies the citizen in rebelling against the 
" supreme law of the land" with respect to fugitives that slavehold- 
ing is equivalent to man-stealing, which the Jewish code pronounced 
to be worthy of death that the Union can not and ought not to be 
restored until slavery is entirely abolished that it is, finally, the 
" sum of all villainies," or, to use the language of Dr. Adam Clarke, 
the Methodist commentator, that u although in heathen countries 
slavery was in some sort excusable, yet among Christians it is an 
ENORMITY AND A CRIME, for which perdition has scarcely an adequate 
state of punishment."* 

Now the whole of this modern and monstrous doctrine I utterly 
repudiate, as at war with the laws of God and man. You know as 
well as I do, that it is a pure novelty, unheard of while you were the 
Rector of St. Paul's Church, Boston. You know that, when it was 
first broached, it met with the general disapprobation of all intelligent 
men, as a weak delusion. Unhappily it is no longer a weak delusion. 
On the contrary, it has beconne a strong one too strong in the minds 
of many, for the old system of Christian faith and practice too 
strong for the conservative maxims of the Church too strong for 
constitutional law, for the oath of office, and for the political bond 

* Com. on Epheslans, ch. 6, v. 5. 


of Union. But I hold it to be no less a delusion. A3 such I have 
opposed it again and again. And because I have done this, in the 
service of truth and peace because I have presumed to stand fast 
upon the rock of faith in the Word of God, as it was interpreted by 
the whole Church from the beginning up to our own day, and thus 
reasserted what all men acknowledged at the time when you were 
ordained, you, and a majority of your clergy, have publicly stigma- 
tized my work as " unworthy of any servant of Christ," and con- 
demned it by your sentence of "indignant reprobation." 

To myself, this extraordinary fulmination is a very small matter. 
To the cause of truth, it may prove to be a great one. Manifest, in- 
deed, it is, that it destroys all the old fellowship between you and me. 
It is an act of such plain disorder, nay, such gross and wanton insult, 
that I hold myself bound, by the precept of the Apostle, to withdraw 
from your " company," though I am also bound not to " count you 
as an enemy, but to admonish you as a brother."* I address this 
volume to you, therefore, as a brotherly admonition. I do it in this 
public form, because your libellous act of censure was public, print- 
ed for public use, and scattered over the land in large placards to 
attract universal observation. I do it at considerable length, because 
I shall be obliged to maintain my course by the quotation of many 
authorities, which neither you nor any other man can justly impeach: 
and I do it in humble confidence that if it fails to bring you back to 
the truth which you once professed as I did, it may nevertheless be 
of service to the Church, and keep candid and intelligent minds from 
the infection of this mischievous and growing error. 

I trust, however, that in thus vindicating my own course, I shall 
say nothing which can intimate that I " count you as an enemy." 
You have done me a grievous wrong. You and your clergy have 
laid yourselves open to a prosecution for a libel. It was certainly 
competent for you to publish the fact that you did not approve my 
little tract on the Bible View of Slavery, and were not to be held 
accountable for it. But you had no right to accuse me of an " effort 
to sustain, on Bible principles, the States in rebellion against the 
Government in the wicked attempt to establish, by force of arms, a 
tyranny in the name of a republic, whose ' corner stone * shall be the 
perpetual bondage of the African." Not one word had I written to 

* 2 Thes. ch. 8. v. 14-5. 


justify this false and baseless imputation. On the contrary, I had 
published more than you and all your clergy put together, against 
the idea of the '"''perpetual bondage of the African," and in favor of a 
gradual abolition of slavery, as soon as it could be done, in peace 
and good will, with due regard to the best interests of the parties. 
And as to rebellion, I have always been opposed to every thing 
which deserves the name, in the family, in the Church, in the State, 
or in any other relation of society. The apostles commanded obedi- 
ence, not only to the slave, but to the child, to the wife, and to every 
subject of earthly government. " Submit yourselves to every ordi- 
nance of man, for the Lord's sake," * saith the Apostle Peter. " Let 
every soul be subject to the higher powers," t saith St. Paul. And 
on this very ground I abjured the doctrine of the ultra-abolitionist, 
who tramples " the supreme law of the land " under his feet, in pur- 
suance of a " higher law " which merely exists in his own imagina- 
tion, and therefore not only sins against the Word of God, but rebels, 
both in word and act, against the Constitution of his country. 

In publicly branding my name with this utterly groundless charge, 
in condemning my course as "unworthy of any servant of Jesus 
Christ," and in affixing to it the sentence of your " indignant repro- 
bation," you have, I repeat, done me a grievous wrong, and have 
yourself "rebelled" against the precepts of justice, fairness, and 
Christian courtesy. Nevertheless, I do not " count you. as an ene- 
my," though you have done the work of one. I believe that you 
acted mainly under the strong influence of political expediency. For 
it so happened that my pamphlet, though never written or intended 
by me for such a purpose, was largely circulated by the Democratic 
party on the eve of your late election in Pennsylvania, and you 
thought it necessary to put it down. You did not pause to inquire 
how far I was accountable. Yet the fact is, that I have never med- 
dled, directly or indirectly, with party politics, never gave a party 
vote in my life, never made a speech at a party political meeting, 
never wrote a line for party purposes, and never attended the polls 
at all since I entered the ministry, forty years ago. But if gentle- 
men of any party saw fit to attach importance to that pamphlet, and 
to circulate it, they were at full liberty to do so, because it was pub- 
lic property, not subject to copyright, and I could not have objected, 

*1 Pet. 2 : 13. t Rom. 13 : 1, 2. 


with any consistency. There was nothing in it bearing upon party 
politics, unless it be supposed that your Union party in Pennsyl- 
vania are ultra-abolitionists, which they do not profess to be. My 
only object in writing it was to show the error of those mistaken 
philanthropists, by exhibiting the Bible view of slavery, in vindica- 
tion of that Federal Constitution which is binding alike on clergy- 
men and politicians, and to which, therefore, I owed my allegiance 
in common with every other citizen. And hence it was not only un- 
just, but utterly preposterous, to make me accountable for the man- 
agement of a party movement, and that, not in my own State of 
Vermont, but in Pennsylvania, four hundred miles away. 

But you paid no regard to these considerations. The pamphlet 
was there. It was circulated. It was read. Some of your wise men 
thought it was politically expedient to kill it, if possible. The best 
way to kill it was to brand and calumniate the author. And the most 
effectual mode of doing that was to induce the Bishop and clergy of 
Philadelphia to take the lead in the patriotic work of personal de- 

I acquit you, in my own mind, of originating this remarkable spe- 
cimen of party tactics. I doubt not that the suggestion came from 
the sagacious brain of some experienced politician, that it was em- 
braced by a few of your astute clergy, and that you were persuaded, 
by the arguments of political expediency, to place your name and 
official influence at the head of the extraordinary manifesto. What 
signified the injury to the Bishop of Vermont ? A man of little im- 
portance, set over a small diocese, on the border of Canada ! Penn- 
sylvania contains nine times as many people as Vermont. Therefore, 
her bishop was nine times the greater bishop. The influence which 
he might secure to the Church, by contributing to a grand political suc- 
cess, was worth the sacrifice of nine small bishops at any time. True, 
it would be necessary to indorse a calumny, but in the game of poli- 
tics, all calumny is lawful; and slander itself becomes a duty, when 
clergymen can persuade themselves to think that they are governed 
by devotion to the best interests of the Church and of their country. 
It was only an adoption of the Jesuitical maxim, that " the end sanc- 
tifies the means." 

But I must go a little farther, before I have done with your act of 
denunciation. For while I utterly deny that I either wrote my 
pamphlet for the service of any political party, or gave my consen . 


to the publication of the Bible View of Slavery under an expecta- 
tion, at the time, that it would be used by any such party, yet I do 
not mean to admit that it is wrong in a bishop or clergyman to pub- 
lish apolitical tract, if he sees occasion. We have, indeed, no justi- 
fication for bringing politics into the sanctuary of God, or the con- 
ventions of the Church, because there our duty is to preach the Gos- 
pel, and attend to the work of that spiritual kingdom of Christ, which 
is "not of this world." But we do not cease to be citizens when we 
become clergymen. We have still as much right to think, to speak, 
and to publish our opinions upon all other subjects, as any educated 
class in the community. No one presumes to doubt that a bishop 
has a right to vote, as your venerated predecessor, Bishop White, 
always did, at every party election. And it is absurd to say that a 
man shall have a right to vote, and yet not have a right to proclaim his 
reasons for voting, which reasons never can be proclaimed without 
more or less of political discussion. 

In England, as you know, bishops sit in the House of Lords ; and 
although they usually decline acting in matters of war, yet they take 
a part in all other political questions. They do this, too, as lishops, 
clothed in their episcopal robes ; and if an American were to de- 
nounce their conduct as " unworthy of any servant of Jesus Christ," 
he would be thought strangely deficient in wisdom and discretion. 
Nevertheless, while they act as politicians in the proper place, they 
would utterly condemn, as I do, the introduction of politics in the 
Church or the Convocation. 

In our country, the Church and the State are entirely disconnected, 
and we have no official rank in the legislatures of the land. But we 
belong none the less to the Sovereign People, and no act which 
would be morally right in the layman can be morally wrong in the 
bishop. Hence I contend that so long as a bishop does nothing but 
what it is lawful for every one else to do, his conduct can not be con- 
demned as " unworthy of any servant of Jesus Christ," and deserv- 
ing of " indignant reprobation." 

I say, therefore, distinctly, that I have not lost, by reason of my 
office as bishop, my right as a citizen, not merely to permit a polit- 
ical party to circulate one of my pamphlets, but to join that party, to 
write for that party, and to vote as a member of that party if I please, 
because every other Christian man has those rights, and my rights, 
as a citizen, are precisely the same. Dignity, delicacy, and propriety, 


may stand in the way of certain modes and customs, with regard to 
the exercise of those rights; and a judicious clergyman will always 
pay respect to those considerations, lest his character as a minister 
might be injured by too free a use of his political liberty as a citizen. 
"All things are lawful tor me," saith the Apostle, "but all things are 
not expedient" But a deviation from the rules of expediency would 
not justify any one in denouncing such departure as "unworthy of 
any servant of Jesus Christ" and challenging " indignant reproba- 
tion." Such language can only be justly applied to offenses of a 
deep dye, against the moral law ; and hence you stand chargeable 
not only with injustice, but with absurdity, in affixing it, as you 
have done, to my pamphlet against ultra-abolitionism. 

If you meant what you say, in condemning my conduct as "un- 
worthy of any servant of Jesus Christ," consistency would require 
you to regard me as utterly unworthy to be a bishop, and therefore 
it would become your solemn duty to proceed, according to the can- 
ons, to have me regularly presented for trial, and deposed as soon 
as possible. But this, I presume, you will hardly undertake. The 
gross libel which you have published, with your long array of cleri- 
cal indorsements, was for political effect, and you have probably no 
desire to carry it any farther. You are mistaken, nevertheless, it 
you suppose that you can stand excused for this insulting aggression 
by the calm and sober judgment of any Christian community. And 
the time will come, if I do not greatly err, when you and your clergy 
will feel ashamed of your false and violent accusation, and wish that 
the record could be blotted out forever. 

There is one petty cavil, however, which is urged by some of your 
apologists, namely, that I signed my name to the Bible View of Slav- 
ery ^ with my title as Bishop of Vermont attached, and therefore it is 
said that in consenting to its circulation in your diocese, I was at once 
invading your. jurisdiction, and undertaking to represent the opinions 
of the Church at large, without authority. 

To this I reply that the course which I pursued was no invasion of 
your diocese, because it was not an act of episcopal authority. It is 
true, indeed, that the letter of request was addressed to me as a bishop, 
and that I replied to it as a bishop. But the same inquiry might 
have been made of any one else, and the same answer might have 
been given by a presbyter or a layman, for it only involved the ex- 
pression of individual opinion. Nothing is better understood than 


the rule that an official title does not imply an official act, unless the 
act be of an official character. Thus I have before me the Treatise 
on the Records of Creation, written by the Rev. John Bird Sumner, 
and published some time before he was elevated to the episcopate. 
Yet in the title-page to the fifth edition the author is stated to be 
" John Bird Sumner, D.D., Lord Bishop of Chester." So I find that 
a work on topics which were purely secular, viz. "On /Secondary 
Punishments, on Transportation to New South- Wales, and on Col- 
onization, was published by "Richard Whately, D.D., Archbishop of 
Dublin" Did any man ever suppose that this addition of the title 
gave any official character to the books themselves ? Nay, so far is 
this practice carried in England, that the title is never dropped even 
in private correspondence. You know as well as I do that John Can- 
tuar. signifies John, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Richard, Dublin. 
signifies Richard, Archbishop of Dublin, and Henry, Exon. signifies 
Henry, Bishop of Exeter, etc., precisely equivalent to my* signa- 
ture of J. H. Hopkins, Bishop of Vermont. And yet the English and 
colonial bishops use this official title in all their notes and letters, 
without exception. But does this stamp them with the assumption 
of any official authority ? The notion is a pure absurdity. In all 
such cases the title is used merely to designate the individual. And 
the attempt to make any thing more of it, in the present instance, is 
only a proof that the cause must be weak indeed, which seeks sup- 
port from such a trifling cavil. 

Independently of this, however, there is a strange degree of folly 
in supposing that the writings of a bishop are to be confined to his 
own diocese, while those of every other author are free to be circulated 
wherever they can find readers. The laity of the Church in Penn- 
sylvania are, to a certain extent, under your jurisdiction, while I am 
not. Would you tell them that they must ask your leave, before they 
seek for instruction from any other quarter ? And must I obtain 
your imprimatur before I exercise the right of the humblest citizen, 
to publish what I believe to be the truth, and send it forth for general 
information ? 

With respect to the other part of the accusation, viz. that by sign- 
ing my name as a bishop, I undertook to represent the Church at 
large, I reply that no individual bishop can represent the Church at 
large in any other sense than that which attaches to every presbyter, 
deacon % and even layman, namely, that we are all bound to speak and 


to write nothing but what agrees with, or at least what does not stand 
opposed to, the doctrine of the Church to which we belong. But be- 
yond this general obligation to be faithful to the Church, which rests 
on all her officers and members, my pamphlet assumed nothing. I 
asserted in it that the Church at large had always held the same doc- 
trine on the lawfulness of slavery, considered in itself, and that the 
sin, if there were any, consisted not in the relation of master and 
slave, but in the treatment. And this assertion I now undertake to 
prove by indisputable authority. 

But resuming my hypothesis in accounting for your extraordinary 
manifesto, I would merely add that I can not conceive any better way 
of explaining my conclusion. I regard you, therefore, not as a per- 
sonal enemy so much as an able performer, brought upon the stage 
to give due effect to the designs of the politicians. I can not justify, 
but I shall do my utmost to palliate your error. I confess all the 
superiority which you may claim over myself in talents, influence, 
reputation, management, and tact. I am perfectly conscious, also, of 
your superiority in position, and I am well aware that the world at 
large pays more regard to that fact than to any other, in estimating 
the comparative importance of human opinion. It has been always, 
and I suppose it will always be, that the multitude bow down to offi- 
cial eminence, and would gladly render to Silenus on a pedestal, the 
honor which they would refuse to Apollo in the dust. I take, there- 
fore, the most favorable view of the probable circumstances. Doubt- 
less you were beset with importunity. Doubtless the importance of 
your influence in Church and State was urged adroitly, and you 
yielded to the pressure. Your motive was not specially to act as my 
enemy, but to follow what you deemed to be the rule of political ex- 
pediency. The wrong is done. And it is a grievous wrong, excuse 
it as we may. May God forgive it, as I most freely do, notwithstand- 
ing the personal results which I presume to be irreparable. 



RIGHT REVEREND BROTHER : I do not know precisely where you 
stand on the field of this very serious controversy ; for while you 
have assaulted my position with unexampled severity, you have thus 
far preferred, for yourself, the policy of non-committal. That is a 
kind of policy, however, which I have not worldly wisdom enough 
to admire, in questions of religious truth and duty. I have always 
regarded it as a solemn obligation to " contend for the faith once de- 
livered to the saints," and to do what I could, in my humble sphere, 
to " drive away from the Church all erroneous and false doctrine, 
tontrary to the Word of God." Whether " in honor or in dishonor, 
through evil report or good report," I have held my duty to be the 
same. For I know, and you know, that this was the rule laid down 
to the Apostles by their Divine Lord and Master, and faithfully pur- 
sued by them, in despite of danger and suffering, till they finished 
their glorious course by gaining the crown of martyrdom. If they 
had adopted the time-serving policy .of the present day, the Church 
of Christ could never have been planted in the face of heathen and 
Jewish opposition. This is the reason, and the only reason, why I 
have always been ready to bear my part in every controversy which 
involved religious principle. In worldly matters, where my own 
personal interest was alone concerned, I have willingly yielded my 
rights sooner than contend in the service of Mammon. But in the 
service of Christ and his Church I have considered myself a " sol- 
dier," enlisted for life in His warfare " against sin, the world, and 
the devil." And this, which the baptismal office makes the duty of 
every Christian, becomes ten-fold the duty of a bishop, whose office 
calls him to be one of the chief leaders in the host of God's elect, to 
defend with honest boldness the sacred cause of religious truth against 
every assault of opposing error. 

I am quite aware that this was not the way to popularity. If I 
could conscientiously have held my peace on all disputed questions, 


I should have been deemed a far wiser man in the general opinion. 
But I thank our divine Redeemer for making me willing to be called 
a fool, when I abandoned my prosperous profession of the law for the 
poor vocation of the ministry. I thank Him who has enabled me to 
defend His truth without regard to odium and abuse. I thank Him 
who taught me to follow, in my weakness, that eminent Apostle who 
was also called a fool, and to adopt his noble declaration : " With me 
it is a small thing to be judged of you, or of man's judgment He that 
judgeth me is the Lord." I thank Him who showed me that it was 
not my duty to be popular, but that it was my duty to be faithful, 
and to prove, on all occasions of religious controversy, that I did not 
" love the praise of men more than the praise of God." 

If I should be accused of " boasting" in this, which I doubt not 
that I shall be, I must shelter myself under the example of the same 
Apostle by saying that " you have compelled me" by your bitter and 
groundless accusation. Your theory of Christian duty is of course 
the same as mine. Your practice is very different, for notwithstand- 
ing your acknowledged literary talents, you have carefully abstained 
from taking the smallest public share in any religious controversy to 
this day ; although you have undertaken to sit in judgment on myself 
because 1 presumed to repeat my former argument at a time which 
did not suit your views of political expediency. But I have not 
denounced your course of worldly wisdom. I have not murmured 
at your success and popularity. I wish, on the contrary, to give you 
all the praise to which, in many respects, you are so justly entitled. 
Nevertheless, I would not adopt your prudent abstinence from con- 
troversy as a rule for myself, if the homage of the whole world were 
offered as the inducement Rather would I endeavor, in the words 
of the Apostle, to " take pleasure in reproaches for Christ's sake,"* 
so long as I provoke them only by an honest though humble effort 
to discharge what I esteem to be my duty. 

The life of our divine Redeemer, from the time when He commenc- 
ed His public ministry, was an open and constant controversy against 
all existing error. The life of His apostles was a life of controversy, 
like that of their Lord and Master. And therefore I claim the high- 
est authority for my poor efforts to obey the rule which commands 
me to follow their example. It is not that I esteem my trifling labors 
as worthy to be named in comparison with the stupendous task 

* 2 Cor. 12 : 10. 


committed to the inspired messengers of Christ. God forbid ! Yet 
the obligation to imitate them is none the less imperative, and, how- 
ever humble the performance, the spirit which animates it should be 
the same. 

I should be altogether wanting, however, in justice to myself, if I 
failed to state the fact, that I have only been induced to engage in 
the present controversy by a sense of duty to religious truth, unity, 
and peace, in the communion of the Church of which I am a mem- 
ber. That Church was extended South as well as North. Its union, 
as well as the Union of the States, was deeply involved in the ques- 
tion of slavery. The views of ultra-abolitionists, if they prevailed, 
must break that union asunder, and therefore I held myself bound 
to raise my feeble voice against a doctrine which I regarded as not 
only false in itself, but perilous to the Church and to the nation. 
Alas ! the result which I dreaded has come to pass. The union of 
the Church is lost. The unity of the States is invaded. And slavery 
still stands as the cardinal point of separation. If ever the union of 
the Church is restored if ever the Union of the States is reestab- 
lished, it can only be, in my humble judgment, by a return to the 
old and Scriptural doctrine, once held alike by the whole Christian 
community, that slavery, in itself, involves no sin. That the Gospel 
does not require its abolition, but commands the slave to be obedient 
to the master, and commands the master to treat the slave with just- 
ice and kindness. That, nevertheless, it is expedient and desirable 
that slavery should be done away, as soon as it can be peaceably, 
by common consent. That until it pleases Providence to open the 
way to this happy consummation, the rights of the South must be 
respected according to the Constitution. That meanwhile it is our 
religious as well as our civil duty to treat those rights with a fair and 
just allowance, and avoid all language and all acts which can only 
tend to excite ill-will, and provoke hostility and alienation. 

These were the views of all our Christian teachers and all our 
eminent statesmen, during the first forty years of our existence under 
the Federal Constitution. They continued to be the views of almost 
all, for twenty years more. They were held by our own Church, 
without any known exceptions, up to October, 1859, when our Gen- 
eral Convention met at Richmond under the Presidency of Bishop 
Meade, himself a slaveholder. As to my own position, I retain the 
same views still, with a stronger conviction than eyer, because I re- 


gard the deplorable events of the last three years to be an awiiil 
confirmation of their truth. And if you have ceased to hold them, 
since you have not yet favored us with your reasons for the change, 
the best hypothesis by which I can account for it, in all Christian 
charity, must be derived from your favorite maxims of political 

And I do not mean to deny that this political expediency is a prin- 
ciple of vast practical importance, although, not being a politician, I 
can not pretend to understand its mysteries. But I know enough 
about it to be perfectly aware that it is like charity in one respect, 
because it " covers a multitude of sins." In the tactics of the State, 
the newspapers on all sides bear witness that political expediency 
employs bribery, oppression, partiality, fraud, force, falsehood, and 
calumny. Individual freedom lies down in willing slavery at the 
feet of party dictation. Conscience shuts her eyes, and goes to sleep. 
The idol of power is invoked to divide the spoils, and the mantle of 
official honor is expected to hide the body of foulness and corruption. 

And when this political expediency is admitted into the Church, 
though its garment is changed and its aspect is modified, to suit its 
new associations, yet its acting spirit is the same selfish love of do- 
minion, working by the same unscrupulous management of party, 
and descending to employ the same instruments of false accusation, 
unfair influence, bitter writing, and abusive tongue. But in one im- 
portant respect there is a difference. The politicians in the State 
work in the name of the people, and are always aware that they 
must be governed by the public will. The politicians in the Church 
work in the name of Christ, while his precepts of truth and right- 
eousness and brotherly love are ignored and forgotten. 

And therefore it is that I have always been opposed to party spirit 
in the Church, because it is one of the most dangerous foes to Christ- 
ian peace and unity. Therefore it is, that in the Church I would 
have no place granted to political expediency. I deny not that in 
the affairs of worldly government, there must be parties. I deny 
not that the object of those parties is often right and true. I deny 
not that the leaders of party may be honest, patriotic men, who are 
only bent on maintaining the real and abiding principles of the pub- 
lic welfare. Neither do I deny that in the Church the leaders of 
party may be sincere and upright in their intentions, as I presume 
yourself to be, however I may think that you are grievously misled 


in your recent action. But I dread the introduction of political ex- 
pediency into the Church, because I dread the effects of party spirit, 
which must tend, in times like these, to produce the bitterest strife 
and the most perilous contention. You have placed yourself at the 
head of a novel movement, which, if it succeeds, will probably divide 
the Church, as it has divided so many Christian denominations. 
You have not been content with an answer to my pamphlet, in your 
own name, which would have been perfectly allowable ; but you have 
brought forward a small army of your clergy to unite in the condem- 
nation of a brother bishop : and thus you have inaugurated a new 
party on the one side, which is directly calculated to produce the 
formation of a party on the other. The shape into which you have 
chosen to put the subject, therefore, is but too likely to inflame our 
whole communion. And if the mercy of God, and the good sense of 
the majority do not control the storm, the disunion of the Church 
may add another trophy to the victories of ultra-abolitionism, and 
another testimony to the dangers which lurk in the ecclesiastical 



RIGHT REVEREND BROTHER : I have already said that I do not know 
precisely where you stand, in this very serious controversy, but I 
have been favored with a number of anonymous pamphlets, some of 
which claim the authorship of ministers in the Protestant Episcopal 
Church, in which my Bible View of Slavery is attacked with abun- 
dance of zeal, not always accompanied either by Christian courtesy or 
knowledge. It may be well, therefore, to occupy a little space in 
the examination of some of their arguments, although it is not my 
custom to pay any attention to anonymous opponents. Through my 
whole course, I have made it a matter of principle to publish nothing 
without my name ; because I have always held anonymous attacks 
on individuals to be a sort of stabbing in the dark, belonging, of 
right, to the art of assassination. The individual assailed has a just 
claim to know who it is that assails him. The public has a just 
claim to be informed who it is that undertakes the office of censor. 
And there is a lack of Christian manliness and honesty in this too 
common kind of cowardly warfare, which wears a mask when it 
strikes the blow, and dares to incur the responsibility of the act, 
while it shrinks from the responsibility of detection. 

Passing over, as quite unworthy of notice, the bitterness and sar- 
casm of those writers, I shall state their arguments fairly and can- 
didly, and give them what I deem a satisfactory reply. 

The first point which I shall notice is the assault made against the 
application of the prophecy of Noah to the posterity of Ham, on the 
ground that it was limited to the offspring of Canaan, who were not 
negroes, and who are now probably extinct. Moreover, it is said 
that Canaan was not in Africa, and that the negroes are not descend- 
ed from Canaan, but from Gush, on whom there is no curse recorded. 
And we have a quotation given from Josephus, to prove the correct^ 
ness of these positions. 

In reply to this, I have only to observe that none of these writers 


pretend to deny what I asserted, namely, that " the Almighty, fore- 
seeing the total degradation of the race, ordained them to servitude 
under the descendants of Shem and Japheth." 

Now the whole question in dispute is, whether the Bible author- 
izes slavery at all, under any circumstances. The ultra-abolitionist 
denies it, insisting that slaveholding is a sin per se, and pronouncing 
absolute condemnation upon the act of keeping a man in bondage. 
I contend, on the contrary, that the Deity pronounced the curse of 
slavery on the posterity of Ham, " foreseeing their total degrada- 
tion" and whether that curse included the whole of his posterity or 
a portion of them only, does not make the slightest difference in the 
main fact, which remains uncontroverted, namely, that God did au- 
thorize slavery for a race, whom he foresaw as being utterly de- 

The old maxim is a sound one : " Ul)i eadem ratio, ibi eadem lex" 
Where there is the same reason, there is the same law. It is not 
and it can not be denied, that the reason why the Canaanites were to 
be enslaved, was the foresight of their total degradation. Let us look, 
therefore, at the condition of the African race in our own days, as it 
is described by Malte Brun, one of the most reliable of our modern 
geographers; and then we shall be enabled to judge whether the 
same reason which justified the slavery of the one, does not equally 
justify the slavery of the other. 

" The slave coast of Africa," saith this writer, " consists of several 
petty states, which are all under the despotic sway of the King of 
Dahomey. This barbarian monarch chooses to have women for his 
body-guard, and his palace is surrounded by one thousand of these 
Amazons, armed with javelins and muskets, from whom he selects 
his special military aids and messengers. His ministers, when they 
come into the royal presence, are obliged to leave their silk robes at 
the gate of the palace, and approach the throne, walking on all fours, 
and rolling their heads in the dust. The ferocity of this African des- 
pot almost surpasses conception. The road to his residence is strew- 
ed with human skulls, and the walls are adorned and almost covered 
with jaw-bones. On public occasions, the sable monarch walks in 
solemn pomp, oVer the bloody heads of vanquished princes, or dis- 
graced ministers. At the festivals of the tribes, to which all the 
people bring presents for the king, he drenches the tombs of his fore- 
fathers with human blood. Fifty dead bodies are thrown around the 


royal sepulchre, and fifty heads displayed on poles. The blood of 
these victims is presented to the king, who dips his fingers into it, 
and licks them. Human blood is mixed with clay, to build temples 
in honor of deceased monarchs. The royal widows kill one another, 
till it pleases the new sovereign to put an end to the slaughter. And 
the crowd assembled at their most joyous festivals applaud such 
scenes of horror, and delight in tearing the unhappy victims to 
pieces." * 

The people, as might be expected, are sunk into the most degraded 
habits, in all the social relations of life, and especially in all their no- 
tions of religion. " They eat the carcass of the elephant," saith our 
author, " even when full of vermin. The musky eggs and flesh of 
the crocodile are welcome to their appetite. Monkeys are generally 
used for food. Animals found dead and putrid give no disgust, and 
at their greatest feasts, a roasted dog is counted a luxury. Their 
dwellings are rude huts, consisting of a few trunks of trees, covered 
with straw or palm leaves. Their furniture is usually confined to a 
few calabashes. The rich have some fire-arms, obtained from the 
Europeans ; and the sovereigns, who adorn their residence with hu- 
man skulls and jaw-bones, have stone-ware and carpets of English 
manufacture. But the mass look for nothing beyond the supply of 
the simplest wants of nature. Twenty days in the year are enough, 
in that luxuriant climate, for their labors in husbandry. Their cloth- 
ing is woven by the women from wild cotton. And their time is given 
up, for the most part, to dancing at night to the sound of horns and 
drums, and their days to gaming, of which they are passionately fond. 
Polygamy is practiced to a greater degree than is found among any 
other people. As to their religion, it is the lowest kind of idolatry. 
They adore, and in time of difficulty consult, any object that strikes 
their fancy a tree, a rock, a fish-bone, an egg, a horn, a date-stone, 
or a blade of grass. In Whidah, a serpent is regarded as the god of 
war, of trade, of agriculture, and of fertility. It is kept in a kind of 
temple, and attended by an order of priests. A company of young 
women are consecrated to it, whose business it is to please their deity 
with wanton dances, and a life of systematic licentiousness. In Be- 
nin, a lizard is the object of public worship, and a leopard in Da- 

* Malte Brun's System of Universal Geography. Vol. ii. p. 11. Boston ed. of 1834. 
tlb. p. 88-9. ' 


Of course, neither liberty nor social comfort can exist, where laws 
and manners so barbarous prevail. " Two thirds of the negro popu- 
lation," continues our author, " lead lives of hereditary bondage in 
their own country, and those who are free, are liable to le reduced to 
slavery at any moment, by the order of their despots. As an instance 
of the awful tyranny under which they groan, it is related that, on 
the death of Freempoong, king of the Akims, the people sacrificed 
his slaves upon his tomb, to the number of several thousands, to- 
gether with his prime-minister, and three hundred and sixteen of his 
women. All these victims were buried alive, their bones having been 
previously broken. And for several days the crowd performed dances, 
accompanied with songs, round the spot, where these unfortunate 
beings suffered lingering and horrible agonies."* 

Here, then, we have the best testimony, with which every subse- 
quent writer agrees, t as to the awful debasement, the groveling idola- 
try, the flagitious immorality, the total degradation of the posterity 
of Ham, in the slave-region of Africa. And this testimony is given 
by the first geographer of the age, who was, himself, a friend to abo- 
lition. If my antagonists can show that the Canaanites were in a 
worse condition than this, I should like to see the evidence. ,In the 
Providence of God, the negro slavery of the South has been the means 
of saving millions of those poor creatures from the horrible state in 
which they must otherwise have lived and died. It has raised them 
on the scale of humanity, and brought them toward civilization un- 
der the light of religious truth, until a portion of them were enabled 
to establish, through Southern direction, the Colony of Liberia, and 
we have reason to hope that many of the rest may be qualified to 
emulate them, in due time. If any man can seriously contemplate 
the awful debasement of the native Africans, and candidly compare 
it with the present condition of the Southern slaves, and then de- 
nounce, as a sin, the means which divine Providence has chosen to 
save them from their former state of wretched barbarism, and delib- 
erately prefer that they should rather have remained in that dark sink 
of heathen cruelty and abomination, in honor of PHILANTHROPY, I can 
only say that I am at a loss whether I should be most astonished at 
the waywardness of his heart, or the blindness of his understanding. 

But my censors think that they have settled the whole application 

* Malte Brim's System of Universal Geography. Vol. ii, p. 90. 
t-Bee the Appendix, for some later authorities. 


of Noah's prophecy by confining it to the posterity of Canaan, and 
exclaim against my supposed error in extending it to the posterity of 
Ham, or the African generally. Let me therefore recall to the memory 
of my antagonists the language of Bishop Newton, whose well-known 
work upon the Prophecies is on the list selected by the Church for 
students in Theology, and must therefore, as I suppose, have been 
once regarded, by some of themselves, as a safe guide of ministerial 

" Ham, the father of Canaan, is mentioned," saith Bishop Newton, 
" in the preceding part of the story, and how then came the person 
of a sudden to be changed into Canaan f The Arabic version in 
these three verses hath the father of Canaan, instead of Canaan. 
Some copies of the Septuagint likewise have Ham instead of Canaan, 
as if Canaan was a corruption of the text. Vatablus and others, by 
Canaan, understand the father of Canaan, which was expressed 
twice before. And if we regard the metre, this line, Cursed be Ca- 
naan, is much shorter than the rest, as if something was deficient. 
May we not suppose, therefore, that the copyist, by mistake, wrote 
only Canaan instead of Ham the father of Canaan, and that the 
whole passage was originally thus ? * Cursed be Ham the father of 
Canaan, a servant of servants shall he be to his brethren.' 

" By this reading," continues Bishop Newton, " all the three sons of 
Noah are included in the prophecy, whereas otherwise Ham, who was 
the offender, is excluded, or is only punished in one of his children. 
Ham is characterized as the father of Canaan particularly, for the 
greater encouragement of the Israelites, who were going to invade the 
land of Canaan ; and when it is said, * Cursed be Ham, the father of 
Canaan, a servant of servants shall he be to his brethren,' it is im- 
plied that his whole race was devoted to servitude, but particularly 
the Canaanites. Not that this was to take effect immediately, but 
was to be fulfilled in process of time, when they should forfeit their 
liberties by their wickedness. Ham at first subdued some of the 
posterity of Shem, as Canaan sometimes conquered Japheth. The 
Carthaginians, who were originally Canaanites, did particularly so in 
Spain and Italy ; but in time they were to be subdued, and to become 
servants to them and Japheth ; and the change of their fortune from 
good to bad would render the curse still more visible. Egypt was 
the land of Ham, as it is often called in Scripture, and for many years 
it was a great and flourishing kingdom ; but it was subdued by the 


Persians, who descended from Shem, and afterward by the Grecians, 
who descended from Japheth, and from that time to this, it hath con- 
stantly been subject to some or other of the posterity of Shem or Ja- 
pheth. The whole continent of Africa was peopled principally by the 
children of Ham, and for how many ages have the better parts of that 
country lain under the dominion of the Romans, and then of the 
Saracens, and now of the Turks ? In what wickedness, ignorance, 
barbarity, slavery, and misery, lie most of the inhabitants ? In fine," 
concludes our author, "nothing can be more complete than the exe- 
cution of the sentence upon Ham as well as upon Canaan"* 

These extracts from the work which, amongst Episcopalians, has 
been held as the best authority, may suffice, I trust, as a satisfactory 
answer to my adversaries. As to the notion that the race of Canaan 
is probably extinct, they have only stumbled a second time against 
Bishop Newton. " The Greeks and Romans," saith this author ex- 
pressly, " who were the descendants of Japheth, not only subdued 
Syria and Palestine, but also pursued and conquered such of the Ca- 
naanites as were anywhere remaining, as, for instance, the Tyrians 
and Carthaginians, the former of whom were ruined by Alexander 
and the Grecians, and the latter by Scipio and the Romans. And ever 
since, the miserable remainder of this people have been slaves to a 
foreign yoke, first to the Saracens, who descended from Shem, and 
afterwards to the Turks, who descended from Japheth, and they groan 
under their dominion at this day."^ 

But some of these modern theologians have discovered that Ham 
was blessed along with the other sons of Noah, because it is said 
(Gen. 9 : 1) that " God blessed Noah and his sons," while, in the 
twenty-fifth verse, it is said that Noah cursed Canaan, not Ham ; 
u God's blessing remaining untouched. So reads the record." 

Truly this is a precious piece of Biblical criticism. God " blessed 
Noah and his sons " when they issued from the ark ; but this was 
several years before Canaan was born, for it is unquestionable that 
only eight souls were saved from the deluge Noah, his three sons, 
and their wives. And Canaan was the fourth son of Ham, because 
Gush, Mizraim, and Phut had preceded him. If then, during those 
years, Ham became disrespectful and irreverent toward his father, 

* Dissertation on the Prophecies, by Bishop Newton. Vol. i. pp.32-4. PhiL ed. 1818. 
t Ib. p. 31. 


and trained his children in a course which, of all others, is most hate- 
ful in the eyes of that God, who commands that HONOR must be given 
to the father and the mother, on what principle is the Almighty to be 
restrained from predicting a curse to his posterity, instead of the ori- 
ginal blessing ? Were not Adam and Eve blessed in their state of in- 
nocence, and yet did not a curse follow their disobedience ? Were 
not the Israelites blessed repeatedly, and yet does not the prophet 
Malachi say : " Ye are cursed with a curse, even this whole nation " ? 
Does not every tyro in Christianity know that blessings and curses 
are conditional, so that the commission of sin can change the blessing 
to a curse, and the repentance and reformation of the sinner can 
change the curse into a blessing ? If these anonymous^lergymen did 
not know all this if they were capable of preaching to their people 
that a blessing once given must remain " untouched," even when a 
malediction is deserved by subsequent transgression, I should be 
alarmed for their own state of mind, and sorry for their congregations. 
But this is impossible. Such doctrine is only admissible on special 
occasions and for a special purpose ; as, for example, in an assault 
upon my humble work, under the new stimulus of political expe- 

As to the quotation from Josephus, it does not agree with the state- 
ment of my antagonists, but rather with that of Bishop Newton. 
" Noah is described," saith this historian, " as praying for prosperity 
to his other sons, but for Ham, Tie did not curse him ~by reason of his 
nearness of blood, but cursed his posterity, and when the rest of them 
escaped that curse, God inflicted it on Canaan." Here Josephus 
plainly asserts that although Noah did not curse Ham personally by 
reason of his nearness of blood, yet he did curse his posterity. True, 
he adds that " when the rest of them escaped that curse, God inflicted 
it on Canaan," evidently alluding to the fact that although Egypt, 
which was preeminently called the land of Ham, had become great, 
and thus seemed to have escaped the curse for a considerable period, 
yet it still continued to operate in the line of Canaan. Josephus was 
born A.D. 37, and if he had lived in our day, he would have seen 
abundant proof that the rest of Ham's posterity had not escaped at 
all, but had been sunk for centuries into the lowest state of social and 
moral degradation. 

For myself however, the question has little interest, because I am 
perfectly satisfied that the posterity of Canaan still exists in Africa, to 


a vast extent ; and that the curse pronounced by Noah was not fulfilled, 
nor intended to be fulfilled, by the conquest of the Israelites over the 
seven nations which occupied the promised land. Those seven na- 
tions were not the whole of Canaan's progeny, for we read of his hav- 
ing eleven sons, whose families were "spread abroad." (Gen. 10 : 18.) 
Nor have we any authority for supposing that the whole of even those 
seven tribes abandoned Africa for the land of Canaan, nor for doubt- 
ing that large numbers returned from Canaan to Africa, in order to es- 
cape the conquering sword of Joshua. A part only of Canaan's pos- 
terity was doomed to be exterminated by the divine command, while 
a far greater portion were to be slaves according to the prophecy. 
This will be made evident, however, in a future chapter. 



RIGHT REVEREND BROTHER :. Proceeding to the cases of Abraham, 
Hagar, and Ishmael, my anonymous assailants do not pretend to deny 
that Abraham had slaves, but require me to show that the Deity sanc- 
tions the kind of slavery in which negroes are held at the South, and 
boldly assert that the case of Ishrnael proves the children of a slave 
to be free, and their mother, under the circumstances of Hagar, to be 
entitled to an open acknowledgment as the wife of the master. 

In my pamphlet I defined slavery to be "servitude for life, descend- 
ing to the offspring." This constitutes the relation between the mas- 
ter and the slave, and must be considered independently of the mode 
of treatment, which may be good, bad, or indifferent, according to 
circumstances. It is the constant error of the ultra-abolitionist to 
confound these things together, like the Free-love disorganizers, 
4 who rake up all the cases of tyrannical abuse in the relation of mar- 
ried life, and then modestly recommend mankind to abolish matri- 
mony on account of its liability to those abuses. But I have nothing 
to do, in my argument, with the abuses of slavery. I condemn them 
as heartily as any one. What I insist on is that the Almighty sanc- 
tions the relation of master and slave. And I am equally ready to 
insist that while, in the language of the Apostle, the slave is com- 
manded to " obey his master," the master is also commanded to 
"render to the slave what is just and equal, remembering that he also 
has a Master in heaven." 

" The Hebrews," saith Cruden in his Concordance, a work in uni- 
versal use by all Protestant clergymen, " had two sorts of servants or 
slaves. Some were strangers, either bought or taken in the wars, 
and their masters Icept them, exchanged them, sold them, or disposed 
of them as their own goods. (Lev. 25, 44, 45, etc.) The others were 
Hebrew slaves, who being poor, sold themselves or were sold to pay 
their debts, or were delivered up for slaves by their parents, in case 
of necessity. This sort of Hebrew slaves continued in slavery but 


six years, then they might return to liberty again, and their masters 
could not retain them against their wills. If they would continue 
voluntarily with their masters, they were brought before the judges ; 
there they made a declaration that for this time they disclaimed the 
privilege of the law, had their ears bored with an awl by applying to 
the door-posts of their master, and after that they had no longer any 
power of recovering their liberty except at the next year of Jubilee." 

These were the only kinds of slavery known to the people of Israel, 
and it can not be pretended that Hagar was a slave in any other sense 
than that of a " stranger," because she was an Egyptian, one of the 
race of Ham. But it may be well to quote the whole of the Scrip- 
tural narrative, for my reader's satisfaction: "And Sarai said unto 
Abram, Behold now, the Lord hath restrained me from bearing : I 
pray thee go in unto my maid, it may be that I may obtain children 
by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai." (Gen. 16 : 2.) 
Here it is perfectly manifest that the offspring was intended to 
be accounted as Sarai' s, and not Hagar' s, the right of the mistress 
over the slave continuing precisely as it was before. It appears, 
however, that Hagar became proud and insolent under her new dig- 
nity. And then we read that u Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, thy 
maid is in thy hand, do to her as it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai 
dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face. And the angel of the 
Lord found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness and he 
said, Hagar, Sarai' s maid, Whence comest thou, and whither wilt 
thou go ? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai. 
And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Return to thy mistress, 
and submit thyself under her hands." (Gen. 16 : 6-9.) 

We read next that after Hagar had borne Ishmael, God changed 
the name of Abram to Abraham, and the name of Sarai to Sarah, 
promising that she should bear Isaac, with whose seed the covenant 
of grace should be made to all generations. Isaac was born accord- 
ingly, and " Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac 
was weaned. And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which 
she had borne unto Abraham, mocking. Wherefore she said unto 
Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman andi her son, for the son of this 
bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac. And 
the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight, because of his son. 
And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight, 
because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman : in all that Sarah 


hath said, hearken unto her voice ; for in Isaac shall thy seed be 
called. And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, 
because he is thy seed. And Abraham rose up early in the morn- 
ing, and took bread and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, 
and the child, and sent her away, and she departed." (Gen. 21 : 

Here is the whole of the sacred narrative, and it is plain that Ha- 
gar, from first to last, continued to be a slave, until she was sent 
away, or manumitted. The word " wife" is indeed applied to her 
once, where it is said that Sarai gave her to her husband to be Jiis 
wife" (Gen. 16 : 3 ;) but everywhere else she is called a bondwoman, 
and specially is she so called by the angel, and by the Lord. It is 
not true, therefore, as my learned antagonists assert, that she was 
ever " openly acknowledged" as the wife of Abraham. She was only 
a concubine, and that merely by the will of her mistress. The Deity 
everywhere limits the name of wife to Sarah. " Sarah, t Tiy wife" 
and " Hagar thy bondwoman" are the phrases constantly employed. 
Neither is it true that this example proves the right of the children 
of slaves to be free ; because it is evident that Sarah did as she pleas- 
ed both with the mother and the son, expressly declaring, from the 
first, that Ishmael should be accounted as her own, because she was 
barren, yet finally casting him off, along with Hagar, when she saw 
that the envious feelings of the boy were likely to endanger the 
peace of the family. 

' The whole of this sacred narrative is a peculiar and exceptional 
case, having no point which is fairly applicable to the question under 
consideration save the principle of slavery, for which I quoted it. 
The conduct of Sarah in giving her bondmaid to Abraham, in order 
that the offspring might be counted for her own, was afterwards imi- 
tated by Rachel and Leah, the wives of Jacob. But that has no 
connection with the subject before us. The only facts which do bear 
upon the controversy are these : that Hagar was insubordinate to 
her mistress, that Sarah dealt hardly with her bondwoman, that 
Hagar ran away, and that the angel reproved her, and commanded 
that she should " return to her mistress and submit herself to her 
hands" We see, therefore, that even under circumstances where 
Hagar seemed entitled to more than ordinary indulgence, the rights 
of the mistress and the submission of the slave are recognized and 
affirmed by " the angel of the Lord." Sarah is not rebuked for her 


hard dealing with the bondmaid, which was probably no more than 
her disobedient demeanor had deserved ; but Hagar is sent Itack 
again, with a wholesome exhortation to keep her proper place, and 
do her duty. 

Some of my sagacious adversaries inform their readers that " Re- 
bekah called Abraham's servant, * my lord.' She watered his camels. 
And Bethuel received that ' lord' and the men that were with him, 
into his house, and treated them as honored visitors at his own table." 
Here, again, we have that constant absurdity which confounds the 
occasional treatment of a slave with the relation itself. Suppose 
the slaves of Abraham were received with generous hospitality by 
the family, to whom they were sent, loaded with rich presents, to 
propose a marriage for their master. What then ? Did that change 
their relation as slaves to Abraham ? Did it affect their bounden 
duty of submission to Isaac and Rebekah, after they returned home ? 
Or is it an example which my learned antagonists are themselves 
ready to follow even with regard to the free negroes of their own 
city ? "Will they call them " lords," water their horses, and admit 
them as " honored visitors" at their table ? Such puerile stuff as 
this may be called ' argument' by these writers, but how any man 
of common sense can so regard it, is a mystery quite too deep for 
my humble comprehension. 



RIGHT REVEREND BROTHER : One of the most virulent among my 
adversaries, who calls himself a Presbyter of the Church, endeavor- 
ing to evade the argument which I derived from the Ten Command- 
ments, is compelled to admit that the fourth and the tenth of these 
Commandments " do, undoubtedly, apply to voluntary service, and 
also to that kind of servitude authorized ly the Jewish law" 

He then proceeds to say that if the Ten Commandments sanction 
the slavery of negroes, they must also sanction the slavery of the 
white race, both Jew and Gentile. Because "justice holds an even 
balance, and God hath made of one blood all the nations of men." 

That the condition of slavery was not confined to the negro, but 
was extended to all the various races of mankind, is a fact to which 
the history of the world bears ample testimony, as we shall see by 
and by. The question in controversy, however, is whether the re- 
lation of master and slave involves sin ; and the admission of the 
author that it was sanctioned by two of the Ten Commandments, 
ought, of itself, to have been decisive to any believer in the Word of 
God. Yet he pays no regard whatever to this divine authority, pre- 
ferring to place his faith in the assumed equality of men, proclaimed 
by the Declaration of Independence. He does not, indeed, attempt 
to meet -the argument on the subject, but contents himself, like the 
other writers and orators of his school, with repeating the language 
of the Declaration, as if that was conclusive and incontrovertible. 
Bnt however such arguers may talk or write, they know and feel 
that there are enormous distinctions in the conditions of the hu- 
man race, which they can not account for, save by referring them 
to the will of the All-wise and Supreme Disposer. It is not in their 
power to equalize them even in a single village. And if, in the order 
of divine Providence, they have themselves been placed in any of 
the higher ranks, either by education, property, or social position, I 
run no risk in saying that they are quite as tenacious of their privi- 


leges, and quite as averse to see them invaded by their inferiors, as 
any of those who maintain the lawfulness of the Southern insti- 

This writer, however, does not pretend to deny the Mosaic law 
which I adduced, proving that the Almighty expressly directed his 
chosen people to buy slaves of the heathen nations round them, as 
well as of the alien races that dwelt within the coasts of Israel. 

But he objects, first, That this relates only to Jewish servants, and 
not to heathen slavery. 

Secondly. That this law was given to the Jews, and not to us Gen- 

And, thirdly, That the relation of master and slave is equivalent to 

Now this is merely a poor attempt to evade the real question, 
namely, whether slavery, in the ordinary legal sense of servitude for 
life descending to the offspring, involves a sin per se. The ultra-abo- 
litionist "asserts that it does, and on that ground, insists on the imme- 
diate emancipation of all the Southern slaves, and abuses the Consti- 
tution as a covenant with death and an agreement with hell. I in- 
sist, on the contrary, that the relation of master and slave, when au- 
thorized by the law of the land, involves no sin, but is justified by 
the Word of God, as well as by the Constitution. I appeal to the 
Old Testament for the proof, and I am told that this law was given 
to the Jews, and not to the Gentiles, as if the Almighty authorized 
the Jew to do what would be a sin in the Christian ! And this is 
done by a writer who calls himself a clergyman of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church, and who, therefore, has solemnly assented to the 
thirty-nine articles, in the seventh of which we read that "The Old 
Testament is not contrary to the New that although the Law given 
from God by Moses, as touching ceremonies and rites, do not bind 
Christian men, nor the civil precepts thereof ought of necessity to be 
received in any commonwealth, yet notwithstanding, no Christian 
man whatever is free from the obedience of the commandments which 
are called moral" He had been compelled to admit that the fourth 
and the tenth commandments of the Decalogue did " undoubtedly 
apply to that kind of servitude authorized by the Jewish law." He 
can not deny that the Ten Commandments are, preeminently, re- 
garded by all men as " the moral law." And yet, in the face of the 


Article, and of his own admission, he insists that this part of the law 
does not concern Christians ! 

But he contends that the Mosaic system did not refer to heathen 
slavery. And here I would ask, What does he mean by heathen 
slavery ? Is it that the masters were heathen, or that the slaves must 
be taken from a heathen race ? If the term heathen refers to the 
masters, there is an end at once to his whole objection ; because the 
masters of our Southern slaves are not heathen, but as good Christ- 
ians, in general, as any of their defamers. If the word heathen refers 
to the race which the Jews were allowed to hold in bondage, then the 
Jewish system was heathen slavery, that is, the slavery of a heathen 
race ; and such precisely was the fact with respect to the negro race, 
imported from Africa. 

His third objection is, that " the Jewish law forbids * man-stealing,' 
which is part and parcel of the heathen code of slavery." " He that 
Btealeth a man and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he 
shall surely be put to death." And here I can not but admire the 
beautiful consistency which, just after telling us that the law was 
given to the Jews, and not to us Gentiles, goes back to that law most 
gladly, when he thinks it in his favor. But he ought to have quoted 
it as it stands in the very place to which he refers. Deut. 24 : 7. 
" If a man be found stealing any of his brethren of the children of 
Israel, and maketh merchandise of him, or selleth him, . . then that 
thief shall die." My assailant omits, in this verse, the whole limita- 
tion which gave the law its proper character. For the Almighty had 
repeatedly commanded that the children of Israel should not be sold 
as bondsmen. " Both thy bondmen and bondmaids which thou shalt 
have," saith the Deity, " shall be of the heathen that are round about 
you, of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids. Moreover of 
the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them 
shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you which they begat 
in your land, and they shall be your possession. And ye shall take 
them for an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them 
for a possession. They shall be your bondmen forever, but over 
your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule over one an- 
other with rigor. For unto me the children of Israel are servants 
whom I brought out of the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your 
God." (Lev. 25 : 40-46, with v. 55.) 

The law is here given, therefore, with the reason of it. If the 


Israelite were stolen, the man that stole him was a thief, because he 
stole the property of the Lord, who counted all the Israelites as his 
bondservants. But this only applied to the children of Israel. There 
is another application of the principle, which the ultra-abolitionist 
does not consider, as when a slave, lawfully belonging to a Jewish or 
a Christian master, is stolen from that master. For it is impossible 
to steal that which has no owner. The very crime of stealing con- 
sists in & felonious talcing of the lawful property of another. And 
it is not the subsequent use of that property, but the felonious talcing 
which constitutes the theft, for a man may be quite as much a thief 
by taking from the owner what he can not use himself, as if he in- 
tended to make a profit of it. On this plain ground of law and justice, 
it is worthy of very serious reflection whether the abolitionist, who 
secretly entices the negro slave to abscond from his lawful owner, 
and thus deprives the master of his legal property, is not, on prin- 
ciple, liable to this very charge of man-stealing; and therefore sub- 
ject to the condemnation of the divine law. 

The next point made by this writer is derived from the Mosaic 
precept which commanded that "a slave, escaping from a, heathen 
master, and coming under the authority of the Jewish law, should 
should not be delivered up, but should be free in Israel." And here 
my antagonist thanks me for having said that " this evidently must 
be referred to the case of a slave who had escaped from a foreign 
heathen master, and can not, with any sound reason, be applied to 
the slaves of the Israelites themselves." 

It is certainly amusing to read the conclusion which my ingenious 
critic draws from this statement, viz. : " That by the Jewish law no 
person could be held in heathen slavery, and therefore if that law 
was in force at the South, it would free every slave by an authority 
higher than that of man." 

I shall not undertake to decide whether the author of this sentence 
thought that his readers had lost their understanding, or that the 
effervescence of his zeal had deprived him of his own. But in all 
the nonsense that I have read upon the subject, I have never seen a 
more puerile absurdity. The law in question is admitted by himself, 
and rightly admitted, to apply to a slave who had escaped into Judea 
"from a foreign heathen master" so that " it cannot with any sound 
reason, be applied to the slaves of the Israelites themselves." Ifj 


then, it could not be applied to the slaves belonging to the Jews, 
how, in the name of common-sense, can it be applied to the slaves 
belonging to the Southerners ? 

His last effort, however, is to get rid of the whole testimony of the 
Mosaic law, by the bold declaration that " between the Hebrew bond- 
man and the Southern slave there is no point of resemblance, so that 
we can not use the first to justify the second," and he quotes from 
the respectable Jewish Rabbi, Dr. Raphall, as follows, viz. : " The 
slave under the Jewish law, though a Gentile or a heathen, is a 
person in whom the dignity of human nature is to be respected ; he 
has rights. Whereas the heathen view of slavery which prevailed 
at Rome, and which, I am sorry to say, is adopted at the South, re- 
duces the slave to a thing, (a chattel,) and a thing can have no 
rights.' 1 ' 1 

Now here, while I readily admit that the heathen law of slavery 
which prevailed at Rome, differed in some particulars from the Jew- 
ish system, yet I shall prove that the slave in the South is more 
nearly like the Jewish slave than like the Roman. I shall also show 
that, granting the Southern slave to be in some respects a chattel, 
the Jewish slave was also a chattel in the same respects, precisely. 
But I shall contend that in every other aspect of his condition, the 
Southern slave is considered a person : for his life is protected, his 
maintenance is secured, and he is the subject of lawful manumission, 
from which has proceeded a result which neither Judea nor Rome 
ever accomplished, in the new State of Liberia. 

1. The Jewish law confined slavery to the races of the heathen. 
And in this it resembled the Roman law, by comprehending all the 
nations "round about" Judea, without reference to their barbarism, 
or savage degradation. It was sufficient that they were " strangers " 
to the Jewish stock, and I have proved, by the express quotation 
from Leviticus, (ch. 25 : 40, etc.,) that the rule extended to the fami- 
lies of strangers, resident among them, and "begotten in the land." 

Such, precisely, is the Southern system, confining slavery to a 
heathen race, but limiting it, as the Jewish law did not, to the pos- 
terity of Ham, the negroes, who, in their native state, are confessedly 
the most degraded and brutalized people known to history. In this 
respect, therefore, the slave-system of the South has the advantage 
over the law of Moses. 

2. The Jewish institution was like the Roman law, in regarding 


the slaves as chattel property, because, in the words of Cruden, al- 
ready quoted, " they were either bought or taken in the wars, and 
their masters kept them, exchanged them, sold them, or disposed of 
them as their own goods" That they were liable to be beaten at the 
master's pleasure, short of maiming or death, is perfectly proved in 
Exod. 21 : 20-1, and the only difference between the Jewish and the 
Roman law in this respect was, that prior to the reign of the Em- 
peror Antonine, the Roman master was allowed to kill his slave. 
The Jewish master, on the contrary, was punished if the slave died 
under his correction, but suffered no penalty unless the death oc- 
curred within " a day or two" after the blows had been given ; for if 
the slave died on the third day, the loss of his labor and of the 
" money " which he had cost, was held to be a sufficient infliction. 

Such, substantially, is the chattel property of slavery in the South. 
The slaves may be kept, bought and sold, or punished at the master's 
pleasure, provided death does not ensue. In one respect, however, 
the Jewish law had an advantage by enacting, that if the master 
struck out the eye or the tooth of his slave, he should let him go 
free. But this is quite balanced by the superior guardianship of life 
according to the Southern law, which does not measure the responsi- 
bility of the master by the fact that the slave survived his punish- 
ment for " a day or two," but holds him liable for causing the death 
of his slave, after any interval. 

3. But although the slave was chattel property, alike by the Jew- 
ish, the Roman, and the Southern law, in which point there is no 
real difference between them, yet I insist upon the unquestionable 
fact, that in all of them " the dignity of human nature was respected," 
whatever may be said or thought by any man to the contrary. Be- 
cause, in all of them, the slave was acknowledged to be a man, to be 
maintained and supported, with his family, to have access to religi- 
ous privileges, and to be set free by manumission, if the master were 
willing. These are privileges which belong to PERSONS, not things. 
And therefore the notion that because slaves are chattel property, 
they are regarded as nothing else but chattels, is a manifest error. 
The truth is, that they partake of both these characters. As CHAT- 
TELS, they can be bought and sold. As PERSONS, they must be main- 
tained and supported, in sickness and in old age, as well as in their 
helpless infancy. By the Jewish and the Southern law their lives 
are protected. By all the laws of Judea, Rome, and the South, they 


are entitled to a share in religious privileges, and they may be manu- 
mitted, or set free, if the master thought them worthy. 

4. With respect to the marriages of slaves, the law of the South is 
silent So was the ancient law of Rome. But so, likewise, is the 
law of Moses. There is, however, one remarkable passage, already 
quoted in the Bible View, which bears, on this subject, a very plain 
testimony : " If thou buy a Hebrew servant, six years shall he serve, 
and in the seventh year he shall go out free, for nothing. If he came 
in by himself, he shall go out by himself. If he were married, then 
his wife shall go with him. If his master have given him a wife, 
and she have "borne Mm sons or daughters, the wife and the children 
shall ~be her master's, and he shall go out ly himself" (Exod. 
21 : 2-4.) This is a plain proof that, in the case of slaves, marriage was 
not allowed to interfere with the master's right of property. The 
husband had no remedy allowed, except to become himself a slave 
for life, if he wished to remain with his wife and children. 

There is no doubt that this feature in the Southern institution is 
liable to much occasional hardship, and it is greatly to be desired 
that it might be regulated, as I presume it will be, in time, by a bet- 
ter system. But meanwhile we have no right to censure it as inex- 
cusable, so long as the same difficulty presents itself in the Mosaic 
system. Nor ought we to doubt that the Christian slaveholders and 
clergy of the South do all that they can to bring the marriages of the 
slaves under the rule of religious obligation ; and that the negro race 
there are elevated in then* marriage state immeasurably above the 
polygamy and licentiousness which prevail in their parent land of 

6. The last topic which I shall notice here, respects the exclusion 
of slaves from giving testimony before a court of justice, which has 
been the subject of an immense amount of objurgation from the elo- 
quent adversaries of the Southern system. Of course it is allowed 
that the same rule is found in the Roman law, and in the law of 
every other land in which slavery existed, which comprehended, un- 
til lately, the whole civilized world. But as the Mosaic system lays 
down no special rule upon the subject, I shall have recourse to the 
historian Josephus, to whom one of my antagonists displayed so 
much partiality, on a different topic, that he tried to make him 
contradict the statements of Bishop Newton, though happily in vain. 

Here, then, is the passage, taken from the same translation, vol. 1, 


p. 264: "Let not a single witness be credited, but three, or two at 
the least, and those such whose testimony is confirmed by their good 
lives. But let not the testimony of women be admitted, on account 
of the levity and boldness of their sex. Nor let servants be admitted 
to give testimony, on account of the ignobility of their soul ; since it 
is probable that they may not speak truth, either out of the hope of 
gain, or fear of punishment." 

Thus we have, again, another instance of agreement with the Jew- 
ish law of slavery. And on the whole survey the reader can readily 
perceive how much confidence may be placed in the reckless asser- 
tion of my adversaries, that " between the Hebrew "bondman and the 
Southern slave, THERE is NO POINT or RESEMBLANCE." 



RIGHT REVEREND BROTHER : Having gone through the principal ob- 
jections of the anonymous pamphleteers, which relate to the Mosaic 
law of slavery, the next question presented is the all-important one, 
viz. What aspect did slavery bear in the judgment of the Church of 
Christ ? I have promised you, in my reply to your protest and de- 
nunciation, that I should demonstrate the " truth wherein I stand," 
by proving from the most unquestionable authorities, that " slaves 
and slaveholders were in the Church from the beginning that slavery 
was held to be consistent with Christian principle by fathers and 
councils, and by all Protestant divines and commentators, up to the 
very close of the last century, and that this fact was universal among 
all churches and sects throughout the Christian world." This pro- 
mise I shall now proceed to fulfil, and then I shall notice the few 
points which may have been left untouched in the course of the ar- 

The system of slavery, according to the Old Testament, disappeared 
of course, when Israel ceased to be a nation ; which event took place 
at the destruction of Jerusalem by the army of Titus, A.D. 76, al- 
though I presume that the Jews, dispersed throughout the world, 
observe the law of Moses so far as circumstances render it practicable, 
to this day. The Roman code, therefore, is that which we have now 
to consider, because it was under this code that the Gentile churches 
were all gathered by the Apostles : and the authoritative repository of 
it is well known to be the civil law, as laid down in the " Institutes" 
of the Christian Emperor, Justinian. To this, then, as the foundation 
of my argument, I shall first direct your attention, and afterwards to 
the fathers, councils, historians, lawyers, divines, and commentators. 
And I shall prove from the whole, that Christianity never undertook 
to abolish slavery, even when it extended over all races and all va- 
rieties of men that religion operated to ameliorate, but not to do it 
away that its extinction in Europe was not the result of any direct 


assault, but a gradual dying out through the changes of society that 
the first positive attack upon it was not from the Church, nor from 
Christians, but from the Atheists of the French Revolution ; and that 
it was never supposed to be a sin to hold a slave, where the laws of 
the country, authorized it, until our own age assumed the novel work 
of ultra-abolitionism. 

You must be prepared, therefore, for a large amount of testimony. 
And if you can no longer do me that justice, my other readers, I trust, 
will bear in mind that I undertake the task in defense of the Bible, in 
defense of the Church through all former times, in defense of their 
own forefathers, in defense of the heroes and sages of the Revolution, 
in defense of the Constitution, and in defense of what I believe to be 
a most important truth for the future welfare of our country. There 
is this difference, however, between my publications in 1850 and 1857 
and my present labor ; viz., that then I wrote as a volunteer, foresee- 
ing the approaching danger ; but now I write under the new compul- 
sion of self-defense, against the gross and insulting denunciation of my 
own brethren. 

The evidence which I shall adduce is gathered from many sources, 
and it will be found entire in the original extracts which are arranged 
in the Appendix. The substance will be stated in my argument, but 
all who desire to see the very words of my authorities can satisfy 
themselves by turning to the notes, which are regularly numbered, 
and occasionally accompanied by explanatory observations. 

Commencing, according to the order prescribed, with the testimony 
of that most celebrated code of civil law, which bears the name of the 
Institutes of Justinian, we find the slave system largely set forth in 
the very commencement, under the title of THE EIGHTS OF PERSONS. 
And I pray you to mark this title, because it proves that this much- 
abused code regarded slaves as persons and not as things. 

" The chief division in the rights of persons," saith this code, " is 
this : that all men are either free or slaves. Liberty is the natural 
faculty of him who does as he pleases, unless when forbidden by force 
or by law. But slavery is the constitution of the law of nations, by 
which the individual, contrary to nature, is subject to the mastery of 
another. Slaves are called (in Latin) servi, from servare, (to save,) 
because the generals were accustomed to sell their captives instead of 
killing them, and so saved them. They are also called mancipia, be- 
muse they were manu capti, taken by hand from the enemy." 


" Slaves are either born in that condition, or they are made so. 
They are born slaves from our bond-maids. They are made slaves 
either by the law of nations, (Jure gentium,) that is, by captivity, or 
by the civil law, as when a freeman of twenty years allows himself 
to be sold, in order to share in the price. In the condition of slaves 
there is no difference ; in that of freemen there are many differences, 
for they are either free by birth or freed from slavery." (3) 

" Those are freedmen who are manumitted from lawful slavery. 
Which thing (manumission) takes its origin from the law of nations. 
For by the LAW OF NATURE all were born free, and there could be no 
manumission when slavery was unknown. But after slavery became 
established by the law of nations, the benefits of manumission fol- 
lowed. Hence, by the law of nations there are three kinds of men 
the freemen, the slaves, and the freedmen, or those who have been 
manumitted from slavery. And manumission may be granted in 
many ways, either by the sacred canons in the holy churches, or by 
letter or by will," etc. (4) 

" Slaves are in the power of their masters by the law of nations. 
For in almost all nations the power of life and death was exercised by 
the masters over their slaves, and whatsoever was acquired by the 
slave belonged to the master. But at this time, no men under our 
government are allowed to rage against their slaves without restric- 
tion. For, by the edict of the Emperor Antonine, whoever, without 
cause, should kill his own slave, is to be punished no less than if he 
had killed the slave of a stranger. And the same Antonine also de- 
creed that if the slave were treated with intolerable cruelty by his 
master, he should be sold for a just price to another, and the master 
should receive the money." (5) 

"By the law of nations, those things which we take from an enemy 
become ours. And therefore freemen are reduced to slavery, who, 
nevertheless, if they escape from our power and return to their own 
people, are restored to their first condition." (6) 

" Slaves are not entitled to maintain an action in their own persons, 
but their masters may maintain it, in case of any atrocious injury, as 
if a stranger should beat a slave with great severity, his master may 
have an action. But if any one reviles a slave or only strikes him 
with his fist, the master can have no action." (7) 

" We utterly prohibit slaves to be admitted among the clergy, even 
if their masters consent and desire it, because they may first set 


them free, and thus open to them the honors of the ministry, if they 
will." (8) 

" If a slave, with the knowledge of his master, who does not oppose 
it, be ordained by the bishop, he shall be held as one born free. But 
if he be ordained without the knowledge of his master, it shall be 
lawful for the master, within one year, to prove that he was his slave, 
and to claim him again as such. And if a slave, whether with or 
without the knowledge of his master^ being made free by ordination, 
shall leave his ecclesiastical ministry and return to a secular life, he 
may be delivered again in slavery to his former master." (9) 

" "With respect to fugitive slaves entering monastic life, it was de- 
creed that if within three years it became manifest that any such 
were a fugitive, he should be stripped of his monastic habit, and his 
master might reclaim him ; but that if he were riot detected until 
three years had expired, 'even though he were afterwards discovered, 
he should be free against his master's will. But since we see that 
many slaves have taken advantage of this law to flee from their mas- 
ters, and abuse the honest monastic profession by making it a cloak 
for their malice, we command that however long a slave who has thus 
become a monk may lie hid, if at any time his master discover him, 
he shall be deprived of the habit which he assumed with an evil pur- 
pose, and be subject again to his master's power." (10) 

" Concerning those slaves who, without their master's knowledge, 
have ascended to the honors of the Episcopal office, we decree that 
they shall be degraded and returned to their servile condition." (11) 

" As the giving of testimony is an act of great importance, it should 
not be allowed to every one, but only to those who are free from igno- 
miny. But the laws formerly admitted slaves to testify in certain 
cases. Now, however, the law of the new Constitution must be en- 
forced, that in all cases none but free men shall be allowed to give 
testimony." (12) 

" If any one is so demented as to exchange liberty for slavery by 
selling himself, the contract shall not be binding, but on the contrary 
shall be annulled, and both he who is the betrayer of his own liberty, 
and he who was a party to the crime, shall be chastised by scourging, 
and the intended slave shall remain a freeman." (13.) 

These copious extracts from the civil law show distinctly the gene- 
ral aspect of slavery as it existed in quiet union with the primitive 
Church, many of its provisions being manifestly enacted with a 


special reference to ecclesiastical order. And T ask your 
candid attention to a few remarks, which may aid in the proper ap 
plication of this highest kind of testimony, to the points under con- 

First, then, we see the law of the Roman empire recognizing and 
regulating slavery in the reign of the Christian Emperor Justinian, 
more than two hundred years after the Gospel had become estab- 
lished. For you know that the Emperor Constantino was converted 
to the faith in A.D. 312, and the famous code which was compiled 
by Tribonian and his colleagues by order of Justinian, and which 
bears his name, was not published until the middle of the sixth cen- 

Secondly, we see that slavery is here said to subsist by the LAW OP 
NATIONS not by local law, confined to this or that territory, but by 
the universal law which extended throughout the whole of the then 
known world. 

Thirdly, we see that its origin is ascribed to war. The captives 
taken in battle, were liable to death. From this death, slavery saved 
them, and therefore the Romans called them servi, as persons saved, 
or mancipia, as taken ly hand from the enemy. 

Fourthly, Tve see that the law of NATURE is distinguished from the 
law of nations in this : that " by the law of NATURE all men were lorn 
free, and there could be no manumission when slavery was unknown." 
Here the civil law differs from the Declaration of Independence, for 
this informs us that all men are created equal, whereas the civil 
law only states that they were born free when slavery was unknown, 
that is to say, during the period before wars arose amongst the pos- 
terity of Noah. Doubtless it was so, because war is the parent of 
slavery. But after war was introduced, through the progress of ini- 
quity, it became the universal practice ; and slavery which followed 
in its train as an act of comparative mercy to the captive, became 
universal likewise, both existing by the same law " the law of na- 

Fifthly, we see that this universal system of slavery, throughout 
the Roman empire, was not confined to the race of Ham, but included 
all the nations with which the Romans had ever been in conflict. 
And the necessary result was that a considerable portion of the slaves 
were quite equal to their masters in race, in knowledge, in talent, and 
in mental energy. 


Sixthly, we see that, until the reign of the Emperor Antonine, the 
master had the power of life and death over his slaves. But this em- 
peror did not ascend the throne until A.D. 161. So that at the time 
when St. Paul taught slaves to be obedient to their masters, and sent 
back the fugitive Onesimus, the system of Roman slavery included 
this very power. 

Seventhly ', we see that the Church, notwithstanding it existed, from 
the fourth century, in the highest dignity and honor, could not eman- 
cipate the slave, even when he had been ordained to Ifhe office of a 
bishop, against the will of the master; but he was liable to be re- 
claimed at any time as a fugitive, and reduced to slavery again. 

Eighthly, we see that although slavery, in the first instance, was 
the result of captivity in war, yet afterwards it continued to be 
propagated to the posterity, and that this was the result even when 
the father was a freeman, provided the mother were a slave. 

And lastly, we see that nothing could liberate the slave but the 
will of his master. In case of excessive cruelty, indeed, the Emperor 
Antonine, in the second century, decreed that the slave should be 
sold to another, but still he remained a slave, and his first master 
received the price of the transfer. 

On the whole, therefore, it is manifest that the slavery of the old 
Roman empire was more severe than Southern slavery in some 
respects, and superior in none, save in this last particular, which was 
not enacted until a hundred years after the martyrdom of St. Paul. 
The greater hardships of the Roman Code consisted in these particu- 
lars : that all prisoners of war became slaves, no matter how elevated 
they might be in race, in education, or in mental capacity, whereas 
the Southern institution is confined to the negro race, which is con- 
fessedly inferior : that prior to the reign of the Emperor Antonine, 
A.D. 161, the master had the power of life and death over his slave, 
which never was allowed in the Southern system ; and that any free- 
man at the age of twenty, was authorized to sell himself into slavery, 
until the Emperor Leo took that abuse away. 

And no one can deny that this system of slavery, in its most ex- 
treme form, existed from the earliest ages. It was in full fouce, when 
the spirit of liberty expelled Tarquin, and established the consular 
government by election. It was in full force when the same spirit of 
liberty roused contest after contest, between the patricians and the 
plebeians. It was in full force when the spirit of liberty sacrificed the 


famous Julius Cesar, on the mere suspicion that he sought to be a 
king. It was in full force in all the states of Greece, and in every 
other country known to history. In a word, it was universal, sus- 
tained everywhere, notwithstanding the indisputable fact that the 
world has never produced more energetic struggles for liberty, and 
has never heard more eloquent declamations in its praise, than those 
which have come down to us from the poets, the orators and the sages 
of antiquity. But this ardent love of liberty had no effect on the 
condition of the slaves. That remained as it had been from the re- 
motest periods of history. And we have just seen what it was, long 
after the Roman empire had absorbed the Grecian states, when hea- 
thenism had sunk prostrate before the Cross of Christ, and the 
Church was established in all the power of its pristine energy and 
devotion. * 



RIGHT REVEREND BROTHER : Before I enter upon the opinions of 
the Fathers, I deem it only just to the philosophy of my subject, to 
present a copious extract from the Politics of the famous Aristotle, 
who was the chosen preceptor of Alexander the Great, and whose 
influence had not only so large a field among the ancients, but con- 
tinued to operate, during many ages, upon the Church itself. I 
quote from Bonn's London edition : 

" By nature," saith Aristotle, " some beings command, and others 
obey, for the sake of mutual safety ; for a being endowed with dis- 
cernment and forethought is by nature the superior and governor, 
whereas he who is merely able to execute by bodily labor, is the in- 
ferior and a natural slave : and hence the interest of master and 
slave is identical." * 

Again : " He then is ly nature formed a slave, who is fitted to 
become the chattel of another person, and on that account is so, and 
who has just reason enough to perceive that there is such a faculty 
as reason, without being endued with the use of it. Now it is the 
intention of nature to make the bodies of slaves and freemen differ- 
ent from each other, that the one should be robust for their neces- 
sary purposes, but the others erect ; useless indeed for such servile 
labors, but fit for civil life, which is divided between the duties of 
war and peace ; though the contrary often takes place, namely, that 
the one have the bodies, but the other have the souls, of free citizens. 
For this at all events is evident, that if they excelled others as much 
as the statues of the gods excel the human form, every one would 
allow that the inferiors ought to be slaves to the others. And since 
this is true with respect to the body, it is still more just to determine 
in the same manner, when we consider the soul, though it is not so 
easy to perceive the beauty of the soul as it is of the body. It is 
clear then that some men are free ly nature, and others are slaves, 

*> The Politics and Economics of Aristotle. Book 1, ch. ii. p. 4. 


and that in the case of the latter, the lot of slavery is both advanta- 
geous and just " * 

Proceeding in the argument, our philosopher next takes into con- 
sideration the opinions of Plato and others, who held the lawfulness 
of enslaving prisoners taken in war, and therein differed from him. 

" It is not difficult," saith Aristotle, " to perceive that those who 
maintain the contrary opinion have some reason on their side, for 
slavery and a slave have each two different senses, (significations ;) 
for there is such a thing as a slave by custom ; and this custom is a 
sort of compact by which whatsoever is taken in battle, is said to be 
the property of the conqueror. But many persons call in question 
this right -and say that it would be hard that whoever is compelled 
by violence should become the slave and subject of another, who has 
the power to compel him, and is his superior in strength ; and even 
of those who are wise, some think one way, and some another on 
this subject But the source of this doubt and that which makes 
this conflict of opinions is the fact that ability, when accompanied 
with proper means, in a certain way, is able to commit the greatest 
violence, for victory is always owing to some superior advantage ; so 
that it seems that violence does not prevail without ability, and so 
the dispute is only concerning what is just. For on this account 
some persons think that justice consists in benevolence, while others 
think it jusif that the superior should govern, since in the midst 
of these contrary opinions, the opposite argument has nothing 
weighty enough to persuade us that the superior on the score of 
ability ought not to rule and govern. But nevertheless, some per- 
sons, (the Platonists,) clinging, as they think, to a certain plea of 
right, (for custom is a kind of right,) insist that slavery in war is 
just, but at the same time they contradict themselves. For it may 
happen that the principle upon which the wars were commenced is 
unjust ; and no one will say that the man who is undeservedly en- 
slaved is therefore a slave, for if so, men of the noblest families might 
happen to be slaves, and the descendants of slaves, if they chance to 
be taken prisoners in war, and sold. And on this account they do 
not choose to give the name of slaves to such persons, but only to 
barbarians. But when they say this, they do nothing more than 
inquire who is a slave by nature, as we said at the first, for we must 

* Aristotle's Politics. Book 2, ch. v. p. 13. 


acknowledge that some persons, wherever they may "be, are of neces- 
sity slaves, hat that others can in no case ~be slaves. Thus it is also 
with those of noble descent ; it is not only in their own country but 
everywhere, that men esteem them as such, while barbarians are 
respected at home only ; as if nobility and freedom were of two sorts, 
the one universal, the other not so. Those who express these senti- 
ments show that they distinguish the slave and the freeman, the 
noble and the ignoble, from each other, by no other test save that of 
their virtues and their vices ; for they think it reasonable, that as a 
man begets a man, and a beast a beast, so from a good man, a good 
man should be descended ; and this is what nature desires to bring 
about, but oftentimes can not accomplish it. It is evident then that 
this doubt has no reason in it, and that some persons are slaves and 
others freemen by the appointment of nature ; and also that in some 
instances there are two distinct classes, for the one of whom it is ex- 
pedient to he a slave, and for the other to he a master, and that it is 
right and just that some should he governed, and that others should 
exercise that government for which they are fitted by nature. And 
if so, then the rule of the master over the slave is just also. But to 
govern ill is disadvantageous fro both ; for the same thing is useful to 
the part and to the whole, to the body and to the soul ; but the slave 
is, as it were, a part of the master, as though he were an animated 
part of his body, though separate. For which reason a mutual util- 
ity and friendship may subsist between the master and the slave. I 
mean when they are placed by nature in that relation to each other ; 
fbr the contrary is the case with those who are reduced to slavery 
by custom or by conquest." * 

One passage more will close my extracts from Aristotle : " The art 
of war," saith he, " is, in some sense, a part of the art of acquisi- 
tion ; for hunting is a part of it, which it is necessary for us to em- 
ploy against wild beasts, and against those of manTcind who, being 
intended by nature for slavery, are unwilling to submit to it, and 
on this occasion, such a war is by nature just.' 11 1 

To these copious selections from the prince of philosophers I add 
the remarks of Dr. Gillies, who thus sums up this part of the system 
of Aristotle in the introduction, page xxxviii. etc. : 

" In the relation of master and servant, the good of the master 
may be the primary object, but the benefit of the servant or slave is 

* Aristotle's Politic*. Book 1, ch. vi. p. 14-6. f Ib. ch. 8, p. 19-20. 


also a necessary result, since he only is naturally and justly a slave, 
whose powers are competent to mere bodily labor, who is capable of 
listening to reason, but incapable of exercising that sovereign faculty, 
and whose weakness and short-sightedness are so great, that it is 
safer for him to be guided or governed through life by the prudence 
of another. But let it always be remembered that 'one class of men 
ought to have the qualifications requisite for masters, before another 
can either fitly or usefully be employed as slaves.' Government, 
then, not only civil but domestic, is a most serious duty a most 
sacred trust : a trust the very nature of which is totally incompatible 
with the supposed inalienable rights of all men to le self-governed. 
Those rights and those only, are inalienable, which it is impossible 
for one person to exercise for another, and to maintain those to "be 
natural and inalienable rights, which the persons supposed to le in- 
vested with them can never possibly exercise, consistently either with 
their own safety, or with the good of the community, is to CONFOUND 


of which it is the primary and unalterable law that forecast should 
direct improvidence, reason control passion, and wisdom command 

Here, then, we have a perfect demonstration of the principle on 
which the advocates of negro slavery, in perpetuity, rest their argu- 
ment. "We have seen that the civil law held men to be free ly na- 
ture, meaning by nature the condition of humanity "before war was 
known, or during that golden age of the poets, when all was suppos- 
ed to be peace and affection. We know, from divine revelation, that 
since the expulsion of Adam from paradise, no such age has ever 
existed. The murder of Abel by his brother Cain, and the shameful 
irreverence of Ham towards his father Noah, prove distinctly that 
sin was ever at work, from the period of the fall. War, indeed, in 
its common acceptation, could riot exist, until the multiplication of 
mankind had gone on for a considerable period. But the spirit of 
war, which is the spirit of selfish contention, is always active in the 
human heart, until it has experienced that mighty change from 
heaven which makes it " a new creature." 

Referring the word, nature, therefore, to this supposed original 
condition of humanity, the civil law rested slavery upon the law of 
nations, or, in other words, upon the universal custom of the world. 
In the philosophy of Aristotle, however, the word nature signifies, 
not the imaginary condition of men before war was introduced, but 


the constitution of the mind and temperament which is inherent from 
his birth in every individual, and stamps its character upon his fu- 
ture life, under every modification of circumstances. It needs no 
argument to prove that the great philosopher is right, in this use of 
the word, nature, because it is in the same sense that all men use it 
in our own day. 

When, in this strictly proper application of the term, Aristotle 
saith that some men are slaves l>y nature, and others freemen by 
nature, he merely declares a fact which all human experience demon" 
strates, namely, that the natural constitution of mind and tempera- 
ment qualifies the individual either to govern, or to be governed. 
And freedom is therefore the best condition for the one, and slavery 
is the best condition for the other. Hence he deduces the rule that 
the man who is, by nature, fitted for freedom, can not, in justice, be 
made a slave. And the man who is, by nature, fitted for slavery, 
can not, injustice, be made a freeman. For justice requires that 
every man should occupy that condition for which nature has de- 
signed him. To force him into any other, is to contradict and oppose 
the order of nature, and can not be beneficial either to the individual 
himself, or to the community. 

Thus, then, the Southern slaveholder insists that the sound phi- 
losophy of Aristotle is altogether on his side, in the bondage of the 
African. For, if ever there was a race of men, fitted, by nature, for 
slavery, the African race must be admitted to be in that condition. 
Hence the negro, when set free, rarely fails to grow worse, instead 
of better. He is happier, safer, more contented, and more useful, as 
a slave, than in any other position. That there are occasional ex- 
ceptions, the Southern arguer admits ; and for these, emancipation is 
allowed, and the colony of Liberia was planted expressly for their 
accommodation. But for the great mass of the negro race, he con- 
tends that slavery is their proper state, on the very ground laid down 
by Aristotle ; and claims the experience of the world, as a demon- 
stration in his favor. 

In the view of the Southern slaveholders, therefore, the general 
emancipation of their negroes would not only be ruinous to the 
masters, but cruel, to the last degree, towards the slaves themselves ; 
because it would thrust into the dangers and difficulties of freemen, 
millions of human beings who are entirely unfitted by nature for 
freedom, and who need the protection and government of their mas- 
ters, even more than the masters need their labor. And therefore 


they resist the policy of abolition, on the very ground of humanity 
and affection towards their slaves, and regard it as an act of 
Christian duty not to cast them off, into a condition of suffering, 
peril and degradation, but to continue their government and guard- 
ianship as a trust committed to their hands by divine Providence, 
which they can not give up without making themselves accessory to 
the fearful consequences. 

Of course, my Right Reverend brother, you and I would not be 
likely to view the subject in the same light. Men are usually the 
creatures of circumstances, and rarely reason upon any subject ex- 
cept in accordance with the habits and prejudices which have formed 
the greater part of their own training. If we had been born and 
educated at the South, it is at least probable that we might have 
taken the most extreme ground on the subject of negro slavery. And 
even as it is, though all my notions and feelings lead me towards 
abolitionism, yet I can not deny that there is great force and appar- 
ently great truth in the argument of these Southern gentlemen. At 
all events I must admit that they become attached to their slaves, 
and the slaves to them, in a manner which I am not in a position to 
appreciate ; and that, in the words of Aristotle, " a mutual utility 
and friendship may subsist letween the master and the slave, when 
they are placed, by nature, in that relation to each other." I must 
also admit that the subject is one with which they are perfectly fa- 
miliar, in all its bearings, of necessity ; while, to me, it is a mere 
matter of abstract speculation, and therefore, supposing that they 
have as much intellect and Christian principle as I have, they ought 
to understand it much better than any one, who, like myself, is a 
stranger to the system. Am I justified in assuming that I have a 
vast deal more of intellect and Christian principle, than the Southern 
clergy, who defend their domestic institution on these grounds, of 
Scripture, of law, and of sound philosophy ? Can I say to them : 
" Stand by, for I am holier than you ? Stand by, for I am more in- 
tellectual than you ! Stand by, for I have more philanthropy than 
you I Stand by, for I have the master mind by nature, and your 
minds ought to be, in justice, the slaves of mine, by reason of my 
superiority 1" 

You, my Right Reverend brother, may think and say thus, if you 
can prove your right to such preeminence ; but I must be excused if 
I dare not occupy a position which seems to me the very reverse of 
common-sense, of sound argument, and of Christian moderation. 



RIGHT REVEREND BROTHER : I come, now, to the statements of the 
ancient authors on the subject of slavery, and shall commence with 
Philo Judseus, a learned Jew of Alexandria, who lived in the first 
century of the Christian era, when slavery existed according to tho 
old Roman law. 

" There is one kind of slavery," saith Philo, " of the mind, and an- 
other of the body. Men are the masters over the bodies, and the ap- 
petites and vices over the minds." (14) 

" The divine law accommodates the rules of right, not to fortune 
but to nature. Therefore masters ought not to abuse their power 
over their domestic servants, but should beware of insolence, con- 
tempt, and cruelty. For these are not the signs of a serene mind, 
but of tyrannical weakness; exercising arbitrary licentiousness instead 
of judgment." (15) 

Near the latter end of the second century we have the works of the 
famous Tertullian, a presbyter of Carthage, whose writings were held 
in such esteem by the martyr Cyprian, that when he called for them 
he was accustomed to say : " Give me the master." Amongst the nu- 
merous treatises of Tertullian there are some against the heretic Mar- 
cion. And here we meet with a passage which shows with what ab- 
horrence Tertullian regarded the attempt to draw away the slave from 
the service of his lawful owner. 

u For what," saith this celebrated father, u can be more unjust, 
what more iniquitous, what more shameful than an attempt to benefit 
the slave in such way that he shall be snatched from his master, that 
he shall be delivered to another, that he shall be suborned against 
the life of his master, while he is yet in his house, living on his gran- 
ary and trembling under his correction ? Such a rescuer would be 
condemned in the world no less than a man-stealer." (16) 

The fourth century beheld the Church freed from persecution, and 
her bishops and clergy held in high reverence and honor. Let us 

100 JEROME. 

next turn to the testimony of those eminent Christian fathers, whose 
authority has been universally respected to this day. 

Thus Jerome, one of the oracles of the ancient Church, gives his 
comment on St Paul's first Epistle to Timothy, ch. 6, v. 1, "Let as 
many servants as are under the yoke count their masters worthy of 
all honor" etc. 

" Not only the good," saith Jerome, " but even the infidels, lest 
the slaves might seem to have been made worse by their religion. 
Neither let them despise their master as only equal to themselves. 
If they formerly served unbelievers with a hateful fear, how much 
more should they serve the faithful, of whose kindness they partici- 
pate." (17) 

The same father remarks as follows on 1 Cor. 7 : 21 : 

** The condition of a slave can not be opposed to the Christian reli- 
gion. Say not, therefore, How can I please God, who am a slave ? 
For God does not regard the condition, but He seeks the will and the 
mind. Therefore neither does liberty profit nor slavery hurt. Who- 
ever is the slave of man is free with God, and he who is free from 
men is the slave of Christ. Therefore both are one." (18) 

Again, ^commenting on Eph. 6 : 5-9, Jerome saith : 

" The Apostle here provides that the doctrine of God may not be 
blasphemed in any thing ; if believing slaves become useless to their 
masters. For he who is about to permit his other slaves to become 
Christians, may begin to repent of his intention through those who have 
already become so. But if he sees that these have been improved, 
and from being unfaithful have become faithful servants, not only will 
he wish that his other slaves may believe, but even he himself may 
perhaps be a partaker of salvation." (19) 

An ancient writer, formerly confounded with Ambrose, the Bishop 
of Milan, gives this commentary on the Epistle to the Colossians. 

" Through the iniquity of the world this occurred, that while one 
invaded the territory of another, freemen were taken into captivity, 
from whence they were called manu capti, and then mancipia. The 
same condition of things continues now. Some are redeemed, others 
remain slaves. But with God, he is esteemed a slave who sins. For 
it was by reason of sin that Ham heard the sentence : * Cursed be 
Canaan, a servant of servants shall he be to his brethren.' " (20) 

The same author furnishes this comment on 1 Tim. 6 : 1-2 : 
" He " (the Apostle) " desires masters to return thanks to God for 


the services of their slaves, since when, through the doctrine of fJod, 
they rendered such faithful services, it might be that the masters 
would subject themselves to the same doctrine. If he commands pro- 
fane masters to be served with entire diligence, how much more the 
faithful ? For then the slave proves himself subject to the fear of 
God, if he devotes himself to his faithful and earthly master with his 
whole mind." (21) 

The celebrated Augustine, as you know, was the Bishop of Hippo, 
in Africa. He flourished in the fourth century, and as he is com- 
monly esteemed the prince of the fathers, I shall give you a liberal 
specimen of his teaching upon the subject. Repetition is unavoidable, 
because I am bound to justify my position by many witnesses, in 
order that the opposers of the truth shall have no possible escape 
fsorn the conclusion. 

Addressing himself to the holy Catholic Church, this eminent father 
uses the following language : 

"Thou" (the Catholic Church) "teachest slaves to adhere to their 
masters, not so much from the necessity of their condition as from 
the pleasure of their office. Thou, in consideration of that supreme 
God who is their common Lord, makest the masters to be placable to 
their slaves, and more inclined to consult than to coerce them." (22) 

But Augustine had no intention to weaken or destroy the correc- 
tive discipline, which the refractory or rebellious slave might some- 
times require. Therefore he lays down this plain statement. 

" The slave fears to offend his master, lest he may order him to be 
beaten, or to be put into the stocks, or to be shut up in prison, or 
committed to the workhouse. Fearing these things, the slave does 
not sin." (23) 

Again, presenting his views on the origin and principle of servitude, 
Augustine adds his authority to what we have already seen, in these 
words, viz. : 

" That one man should be the slave of another is the result either 
of adversity or of iniquity. Of iniquity, as it is written : Cursed ~be 
Canaan, he shall le the slave of his brethren ; but of adversity, as it 
happened to Joseph, when, being sold by his brethren, he became a 
slave to a foreigner. Therefore, the wars made the first slaves, as is 
indicated by their name in the Latin tongue. For the man who was 
conquered by another, might be killed according to the law of war ; 
and because he was saved (servatus) he was called a slave, (servusj 


and from thence they were also called mancipia, because manu capti, 
taken by hand. It is also the natural order amongst men that the 
women should serve their husbands, and sons their parents, because 
in this there is justice, that the weaker should serve the stronger. 
This, therefore, in servitudes and masterships, is clear justice, that 
those who excel in reason, should excel in domination also." (24) 

Another extract from Augustine clearly proves his opinion concern- 
ing the permanent character of bondage. 

" It was ordered," saith he, " that the Hebrew slave should servo 
six years, and then be dismissed free. But lest Christian slaves 
should exact this from their masters, the Apostolic authority com- 
mands that slaves should be subject to their masters, that the name 
of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. And the precept is suffi- 
ciently apparent, in a symbol, from this : that God commands the 
man who had refused his liberty to have his ear bored with an awl 
to the door-post." (25) 

One interesting extract more will close the testimony of this emi- 
nent teacher. 

"The first and daily power of man over man," saith he, "is that 
of the master over the slave. Almost every house has this sort of 
power. There are masters, there are also slaves those names are 
different, but men and men are equal names. And what saith the 
Apostle, teaching slaves to be subject to their masters ? " Ye bond- 
servants, be obedient to your masters according to the flesh, because 
there is a Master according to the Spirit." He is the true Master 
and Eternal, but these are temporal, according to the time. While 
thou art walking in the way, while thou art living in this world, 
Christ is not willing to make thee proud. This happens to thee that 
thou mayest be made a Christian, and having a man for thy master, 
thou art not made a Christian that thou shouldst disdain to serve. Yet 
since thou servest man, by the order of Christ, thou dost not serve 
the man, but Him who has so ordered thee. And therefore he (the 
Apostle) saith : * Obey your masters according to the flesh, with fear 
and trembling, in simplicity of heart, not as eye-servants, or as men 
pleasers, but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from 
the mind, with good will.' Behold, therefore, he does not make fret 
men of servants, but he makes good, servants of lad servants. How 
much do the wealthy owe to Christ, who thus regulates their 
home" ! (26) 

BASIL. 103 

From this witness to the doctrine of the primitive Church, I pass 
on to another, little less distinguished Basil, surnamed the Great, 
who was the Bishop of Cesarea in the fourth century, and held in 
high honor by all the Oriental Christians, as one of their most illus- 
trious saints. Laying down rules for the monastic order, of which 
he was an authoritative guide, Basil writes as follows : 

" Moreover let slaves detained under the yoke, if they fly to the 
convent of the brethren, be first admonished and made better, and 
then be returned to their masters ; in which the blessed Paul is to be 
imitated, who, when he had brought forth Onesimus, through the 
Gospel, sent him back to Philemon." (27) 

In those rules of Basil we also find a collection of Scriptural texts, 
under this expressive title, viz. : 


tc That it is fitting for slaves, with all good-will to the glory of God, 
to be obedient to their masters according to the flesh, certainly in 
those things wherein the law of God is not violated." 

" Servants, obey your masters in the flesh with fear and trembling, 
in simplicity of heart, as unto Christ, not as eye-servants, or as men- 
pleasers, but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from 
the heart, with good-will doing service, as to the Lord and not to 
men, knowing that whatever good thing any man doeth, he shall re- 
ceive from the Lord, whether he be a slave or free. Let as many 
servants as are under the yoke hold their masters worthy of all 
honor, lest the name of God and his doctrine be blasphemed. And 
those who have believing masters, let them not despise them because 
they are brethren, but serve them the more, because they are faithful 
and beloved, partakers of the benefit. Let the slaves be subject to 
their masters, pleasing them in all things, not contradicting, not de- 
frauding, but showing all good fidelity, that they may adorn the 
doctrine of God our Saviour in all things." (28) 

Another passage will suffice from the testimony of this distin- 
guished witness. Speaking of the state of subjection or servitude in 
which men were placed by divine Providence, Basil saith that " they 
are cither oppressed by power, and brought under the yoke of slav- 
ery, as captives in war, or reduced to servitude by reason of poverty, 
as the Egyptians under Pharaoh, or, according to a certain wise and 
mysterious dispensation, those who are unworthy among sons, are 

104 BASIL. 

made servants to the wiser and the better, by the parental voice ; 
which, nevertheless, a just estimator of things would by no means 
consider as a condemnation, but rather as a benefit. For to him 
who, on account of the poverty of sense, has not in himself what 
nature demands, it is more useful to le made the slave of another 
man." (29) 

Thus far, my Right Reverend brother, we see the most perfect 
unity of doctrine on the subject of slavery, in the primitive Church, 
in those purest ages which came next after the Apostles ; and when 
the system which prevailed was that of the Roman law, embracing 
slaves of every nation, instead of being confined, as it is at the South, 
to the most degraded of all races, the barbarous tribes of Africa. 
And I must take the liberty of reminding you and my other clerical 
brethren, that no Protestant Episcopalian can set such authorities 
aside, without being false to the first principles of his own Church ; 
whose great Reformers constantly referred to them, whose Homilies 
argue every question of religious truth by the language of the fathers, 
whose ordination services recognize these " ancient authors" as the 
witnesses to our form of government, and whose Articles cite two of 
them, Jerome and Augustine, by name. But I have not yet done 
with their testimony, and shall proceed with the list in the next 



RIGHT REVEREND BROTHER : After Tertullian, Jerome, Augustine, 
and Basil, the order of chronology brings me to the great Chrysostom, 
the Bishop of Constantinople, that orator of the " golden mouth," 
whose praise was so preeminent, and one of whose supplications is 
still retained in our own Liturgy. And I shall present to your con- 
sideration a very long extract from one of his famous Homilies, of 
which you will find the original in the notes, according to the Latin 
version. That version I have preferred in the case of all the Greek 
writers, because I take it for granted that even my scholastic readers 
will generally peruse it with greater ease and satisfaction. Com- 
menting on the text in 1 Cor. 7 : 21, Chrysostom speaks as follows : 

" Let every one of you remain in that vocation wherein you are 
called. Art thou called, having an unbelieving wife ? Remain with 
her, and do not put her away on account of the faith. Art thou 
called, being a slave ? Care not for it ; continue serving. Art thou 
called, being uncircumcised ? Remain uncircumcised. Hast thou 
believed, being circumcised ? Remain circumcised. For even as 
circumcision profiteth nothing, and uncircumcision hurteth nothing, 
so neither does slavery or liberty. And in order that he (the Apostle) 
might teach this yet more plainly, he saith : ' But if thou mayest be 
made free, use it rather.' That is, serve rather. But why does he 
command him that might be free, to remain a slave ? Because he 
desires to show that slavery does not hurt, but even profits. We 
are not ignorant, indeed, that some interpret the words, 'use it 
rather, 1 as referring to liberty, saying : ' If thou mayest be freed, Be 
free.' But this is very contrary to the meaning of Paul. For his 
design being to console the slave by showing that his condition was 
no injury, he would not have ordered him to become free. For some, 
perhaps, might say, If I can not (be free) I suffer injury, and have 
received damage. He does not therefore say this, but as I have said, 
desiring to show that he who is made free gains no advantage, he 


saith : * Although it may be in thy power to be manumitted and 
made free, remain rather in servitude.' And then he adds the reason : 

* For he who is called in the Lord, being a bondman, is the freedman 
of Christ In like manner also, he who is called, being free, is the 
bondman of Christ.' For in those things which are according to 
Christ, both are equal. But how is it that he who is a bondman is 
free ? Because He has freed thee not only from sin, but even -from 
external slavery, though remaining a slave. And how is it that he 
who is a slave is free, remaining a slave ? When he has been freed 
from the passions and afflictions of the mind. When he has learned 
to despise money, anger, and the other perturbations of the soul. 

* You are bought with a price, be not the servants of men.' This is 
said not only to slaves but also to freemen. For it is possible that 
while he is a slave, he is not a slave, and while he is free, he may be 
a slave notwithstanding. But how, when he is a slave, can it be 
true that he is not a slave ? When he does every thing for the sake 
of God, when he is neither a deceiver, nor a hypocrite, nor an eye- 
servant : this is to be the slave of men, and yet free. And how, 
again, does any freeman become a slave ? When he performs any 
action which works evil to men, or works in the service of gluttony, 
or covetousness, or ambition. For he who is of this sort, is a worse 
slave than all others, although he be a freeman. But consider these 
things. Joseph was a slave, but not the servant of men, for even in 
his slavery he was freer than they all. He certainly did not yield to 
the mistress who owned him, in those acts which she desired. Again, 
she was free, yet she was a greater slave than all, because she be- 
sought her slave, and implored and provoked him, but did not per- 
suade the freeman to do what she desired. Here therefore (on Joseph's 
part) was not slavery, but the highest liberty. What hindrance, 
then, was slavery to his virtue ? Let both slaves and freemen hear. 
This truly is what the Apostle tacitly signifies by saying : ' Be not 
the servants of men.' But if it be otherwise if he orders them to 
leave their masters, and contend that they should be made free, how 
could he say, 'Let every man remain in the condition in which he 
was called ;' and again, ' Whoever are under the yoke of slavery, let 
them esteem their masters worthy of all honor.' To the Ephesians 
and the Colossians also he writes, ordering and commanding the 
same things. From all which it is evident, that he does not take 
away this slavery, but that which is from vice, in which respect, 
ulaves themselves are free" (30) 


This long and most interesting specimen of true Christian doctrine, 
from the illustrious Chrysostom, is, of itself, enough to satisfy a 
candid mind on the subject before us ; proving distinctly that the 
primitive Church had no idea of regarding slavery as involving sin, 
in the relation of the master and the slave, but on the contrary es- 
teeming the condition of servitude as better than freedom for the 
slave, while the bondage to sin, whether in the master or the servant, 
was the worst kind of slavery ; and the only kind which God requires 
all men to cast aside, whether they be bond or free. 

From Chrysostom, I proceed to his disciple, Prosper of Aquitaine, 
who flourished in the fifth century, and a short sentence will suffice 
to show that he held the same sentiments as his eminent teacher. 

" It was transgression and not nature," saith Prosper, " that pro- 
duced the name and condition of slavery, and the first cause of this 
subjection was sin ; as it is written, every one that committeth sin is 
the slave of sin. Hence the condition of him who is a bond-servant 
to man, is better than that of him who is a slave te his own cu- 
pidity." (31) 

There is no name in the sixth century which shines with greater 
lustre than that of Gregory the Great, the Bishop of Home, and from 
his writings I shall take my next testimony. 

" It is well known," saith Gregory, " that there are two kinds of 
good servitude, one of fear, the other of affection ; one, the service of 
bondmaids and bondmen, who dread their master ; the other, of child- 
ren who love and please their parent. The bondmaid fears, lest she 
should be punished ; the wife fears, lest she should offend her hus- 
band." (32) 

Again, in his book concerning the " Pastoral Care," we have this 
rule laid down to the clergy : 

" Slaves should be admonished in one way, and the masters in 
another. The slaves, to wit, that they should always, in themselves, 
regard the humility of their condition ; but the masters, that the 
memory of their nature, in which they are created equally with their 
slaves, must not be forgotten. Slaves should be admonished, lest 
they should despise their masters, lest they offend God by proudly 
contradicting his ordinance ; the masters are also to be admonished, 
that they do not grow proud of his gift, against G*d, (the Giver,) by 
refusing to acknowledge that those who are by condition their sub- 
jects, are their equals by nature. These are to be admonished that 


they may know themselves to be the slaves of their masters : those 
are to be admonished, that they may confess themselves to be tho 
fellow-servants of their slaves. For to these it is said : Servants, 
obey your masters according to the flesh. And again : Let those who 
are under the yoJce of bondage, esteem their masters to be worthy of 
all honor. But to those it is said : And you, masters, do the same 
things unto them, forbearing threats, Tcnowing that their Master and 
yours is in heaven" (33) 

There is another evidence of the doctrine maintained by Gregory 
the Great, which is not only conclusive in itself, but is also interest- 
ing as a specimen of the ancient forms observed in such matters. 
And this is the deed of gift conveying one of his own slaves to the 
Bishop of Porto, which was a small suburban diocese, in the vicinity 
of Rome. It is as follows : 


" Moved by favor of your charity, lest we should seem unfruitful 
to you, and chiefly because we know you to have few servants, there- 
fore we give and grant unto you, our brother, by direct right, John, 
a servant of the church law, by nation a Sabine, of the Flavian pro- 
perty, aged about eighteen years, whom you have had in your pos- 
session, by our will, for a long while, so that you may have and hold 
him, and preserve and maintain your right to him, and defend him 
as your property, and do, by the free right of this donation as his 
master, whatsoever you will concerning him. Against which charter 
of our munificence, you may know that neither we nor our successors 
are ever to come. And this donation, written by our notary, we 
have read and subscribed, granting also, your profession not being 
expected, our license of recording it, whenever you will, with the 
legitimate stipulation and security. Done at Rome." (34) 

To these clear and decisive testimonies of the famous Gregory the 
Great, I shall add one witness more, a saint likewise in the Roman 
Catholic calendar, Isidore, who was Bishop of Seville, in A.D. 601, 
and died A.D. 636. This will bring us to the seventh century. A 
single extract from his valuable writings will suffice to prove his unity 
of doctrine with all that were before him : 

" On account of the sin of the first man," saith Isidore, " the 
punishment of slavery was brought upon the human race, by the 
Deity, so that to those for whom he sees liberty to be incongruous, 


he may mercifully appoint servitude. And although original sin is 
remitted to all the faithful by the grace of baptism, nevertheless God 
has equitably put this difference of life in men, making some to be 
slaves, and others masters ; that the licentiousness of evil-doing on 
the part of servants, might be restrained by the power of their lords. 
For if all men were without fear, who could prohibit any one from 
evil ? Hence also, princes and kings are chosen over the nations, 
that they may coerce the people to abstain from evil by terror, and 
oblige them to live rightly according to the laws. Better is slavery 
in subjection than liberty in pride. For many are found freely serv- 
ing God under wicked masters, who, although they are inferior to 
them in body, are far above them in mind." (35) 

Here, my Right Reverend brother, I shall close the testimony of 
the fathers, only reminding you that all these writers lived before the 
unity of the Church was broken by the separation of the East from 
the West, that they were the lights and ornaments of their day, that 
they are held to the present hour, throughout the whole Christian 
world, in the highest veneration, and that our own reformers had 
constant recourse to them in every controversy, as the most author- 
itative guides to the sense of the Holy Scriptures. The Bible was 
the unquestionable rule of faith. The Church was the interpreter. And 
as it is the undoubted maxim of the courts, in every construction of 
written law, to take the earliest decisions as the most binding, so it 
has been among all sound theologians, that the oldest voices of the 
Church are heard with the greatest reverence. 

But although I have closed the testimony of the individual fathers, 
I have not done with the testimony of the primitive Church, present- 
ed in a still more solemn form by the Councils of her bishops. To 
these, therefore, I invite your attention, in the following chapter. 



RIGHT REVEREND BROTHER : The first place in the list of the Coun- 
cils of the Church is due to the very ancient code called " The Can- 
ons of the Apostles." In the eighty-first of these we read as follows : 

" We do not allow slaves to be advanced to the order of the clergy 
without the will of their masters, to the injury of those who possess 
them ; for such things produce the overthrow of houses. But when 
a slave is seen to be worthy, who may be chosen for that degree, as 
also our Onesimus was, and the masters shall have consented, and 
given liberty, and dismissed them from their houses, it may be 
done." (36.) 

The Clementine Constitutions may be reckoned next, being an old 
compilation, supposed formerly to have been arranged by Clement, 
who was the companion of the apostles, and became, by their author- 
ity, Bishop of Rome. By many critics, however, amongst the Roman 
Catholics themselves, the work is assigned to the third or fourth 
century. But be this as it may, these Constitutions, contained in 
eight books, are full of very admirable matter, expressed with great 
force and beauty, and held, especially by the eastern Churches, in 
the highest veneration. 

From the fourth book, chapter second, I quote the following passage : 
" Concerning slaves, what more can we say than that the servant 
should have benevolence towards his master, with the fear of God, 
though he should be impious, though he should be immoral, even 
though he should not accord with him in religion ? So likewise let 
the master love his slave, and though he is above him, let him not- 
withstanding acknowledge equality inasmuch as he is a man. And 
let him who has a Christian master, the authority being secured, 
love him not only as his master, but as a companion in the faith and 
as a father ; not serving with eye-service, but as loving his master, 
knowing that the reward of his service will be rendered to him by 
God. In like manner let him who has a Christian slave, his subjec- 


tion being secure, love him as a son, and as a brother, for the sake of 
the communion of faith." (3T.) 

From these, I pass on to a number of Councils, extending from 
A.D. 341, to the seventh century : 


" If any one, under pretext of religion, shall teach a slave to despise 
his own master, that he should depart from his service, and no longer 
submit to him with benevolence and honor, let him be accursed." 
^(anathema.} (38.) 


" If the bishop shall have granted liberty to any slaves belonging 
to the Church, who have been well-deserving in his judgment, let 
the liberty thus granted be preserved to them by his successors, 
with whatever property their manumittor bestowed.'" (39.) 


" The slave who has taken refuge in the Church for any transgres- 
sion, if he has received the sacrament after the admission of his fault, 
shall be compelled to return immediately to the service of his mas- 
ter." (40.) 


"If any one shall kill his own slave without judicial authority, he 
shall expiate- the effusion of blood by excommunication during two 
years." (41.) 


"It shall not be allowed to the slaves of the Church or of the 
priests, to take spoils or captives, for it is unjust that while their 
masters are sustaining the benefit of redemption, the discipline of the 
Church should be stained by the excesses of the slaves." (42.) 


"No bishop shall presume to ordain any slave who has not re 
ceived liberty from his own master, nor even one who is already 
free, without the consent of him to whom he is either a slave, or who 
is known to have enfranchised him." (43.) 


"Therefore, in this present Council, God being the author, we 
decree that no Christian from henceforth shall serve a Jew, but that 


any Christian may have license to redeem him, either for freedom or 
for slavery, twelve shillings being given for a good slave. For it is 
an impiety that those, whom Christ our Lord has redeemed with 
the shedding of His blood, should remain bound with the chains of 
his persecutors. And if any Jew be unwilling to consent to our 
decree, it shall be lawful for the slave to dwell with Christians, wher- 
ever he chooses, so long as his Jewish master delays to come for his 
money." (44.) 


"Since we are informed that in many cities the slaves of the 
churches, and of the bishops, or of all the clergy, are wearied out 
with various vexatious burdens by the judges or the public function- 
aries, this whole Council asks of the piety of our lord (the king) that 
he will prohibit such presumptuous doings from henceforth : so that 
the slaves of the aforesaid officers shall labor for their use, or for tho 
Church." (45.) 


" Every man, whether free or bound, Goth, Roman, Syrian, Greek, 
or Jew, shall abstain from work on the Lord's day, neither shall he 
yoke the oxen, except necessity compels in . harvest. And if any 
presume to act contrary, if he be a free man, he shall pay six shil- 
lings, as a fine to the treasurer of the city, and if he be a slave he 
shall receive one hundred stripes." (46.) 


" If any one shall manumit his slave at the altar, let him be free, 
and capable to enjoy heirship and weregild, and it shall be lawful for 
him to go wherever he will, without restraint" (47.) 


" On account of the sin of the first man, the punishment of servi- 
tude was divinely appointed to the human race : so that to those 
whom He (the Almighty) saw to be unfit for freedom, he mercifully 
ordained slavery. And although original sin is remitted to all the 
faithful by the grace of baptism, nevertheless God, in equity, dis- 
tributed life to men, constituting some slaves, and others masters, in 
order that the license of evil-doing by the slaves might be restrained 
by the power of their lords. There is no accepting of persons with 
God. For our only Lord sets forth His ordinance equally to tho 


masters and to the slaves. Better is a subject servitude than a proud 
liberty. For many are found freely serving God under flagitious 
masters, who, although they are subject to them in body, are far 
above them in mind." (48.) 

The next extract is from the capitulary of the Emperor Louis, 
which, though not in the usual form of a Council, is of equal author- 
ity as bearing testimony to the doctrine and practice of the Church. 

"Concerning the ordination of slaves who are everywhere pro- 
moted to the ecclesiastical degrees with indiscretion, it is agreed by 
all that regard should be had to the sacred canons ; and it is there- 
fore decreed that henceforth none of the bishops shall presume to 
advance them to Holy Orders, unless they have first received their 
freedom from their own masters. And if any slave is a fugitive from 
his master, or lies hid, or brings forward witnesses influenced by a 
gift or corrupted, or receives the ecclesiastical degrees by any fraud 
or knavery, it is decreed that he shall be deposed, and his master 
shall again receive him." (49.) 


" If any one shall kill his slave, whatever he may have committed 
worthy of death, without the knowledge of the judges, he shall 
cleanse away the guilt of blood by a penance of two years, or by ex- 
communication." (50) 

The same Council enacted another canon, with which I shall close 
this portion of the evidence : 

" If any slave, during the absence, or without the knowledge of his 
master, the bishop being aware that he was a slave, shall be ordained 
a deacon or a presbyter, let him remain in the office of the clergy, but 
the bishop shall pay to the master a double price. But if the bishop 
did not know that he was a slave, those persons who gave their testi- 
mony concerning him, or demanded that he should be ordained, shall 
be held liable to pay the same recompense." (51) 

This may be the best place, however, for the consideration of an- 
other Council, held at London, A.D. 1011, in which the selling of Eng- 
lishmen appears to have been forbidden, in the following words : 

" Let no one by any means presume, henceforward, to engage in 
that nefarious traffic, by which, hitherto, men have been accustomed 
to be sold, like brute beasts, in England." (52) 

The distinguished Bishop of Oxford, son of the celebrated Mr 


TVilberforce, wrote, when a presbyter, an able and interesting History 
of the American Church, in which, toward the end, his sympathies 
with abolitionism are stated very strongly, as might be naturally 
expected. And he quotes the supposed canon above mentioned, say- 
ing, that " this must be the Churches rule, on the banks of the Mis- 
sissippi, as it was on those of the Thames." From his book, somo 
of our American Churchmen have taken this Council of London as 
an authority of great importance ; and as I was not a little surprised 
to find an English council of that age contradicting so strongly the 
whole course of ecclesiastical legislation on this subject, throughout 
the rest of Christendom, I took the pains to look into the real state 
of the matter, and discovered that the statement was founded upon a 

It is true that such a council was holden, under Anselm, the Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, and the canon, as quoted, appears as if it were 
a part of its doings. But on the following page, we have a letter from 
the Archbishop himself, which deprives it of all its supposed author- 
ity. This letter I shall proceed to set before you : 

" Anselm, Archbishop, to William, his beloved Archdeacon, health 
and benediction :" 

" I am not willing to send to you, or to any one, at present, the 
resolutions of the chapters of the Council as set forth ; because, al- 
though they were brought before the Council, they could not be fully 
and perfectly stated, by reason of their being proposed suddenly, 
without the premeditation and competent examination which were 
meet. Hence, it appears that some things are to be added, and per- 
haps some things must be changed, which I am not willing to do, 
unless by the common consent of our episcopal colleagues. I intend 
therefore to suggest and show those matters to those bishops, when 
we next come together, before the acts set forth are sent to the 
churches of England. The titles, nevertheless, of the matters, con- 
cerning which we there conferred, we send to you ; that according to 
what you may be able to remember, you may consider us to have de- 
creed concerning these." Then the Archbishop sets down a list of . 
subjects, in which nothing whatever is said about the selling of slaves, 
so that this topic is entirely omitted from the real deliberations of the 
Council. (53) 

This positive statement from Anselm, who was the official head or 
president, must be conclusive to prove that there was no definitive 


action on the subject, but only what we should call a proposition, re- 
corded by the secretary, without any discussion, or any vote, and 
therefore not in any sense the act of the Council. The matter does 
not appear again, in any form. And hence this supposed decree of 
the Council of London really amounts to nothing. 

And yet, even if this imaginary canon had been actually passed, it 
would only prove that " the nefarious business of selling men like 
Irute leasts" was to be done away ; and therefore it might have been 
intended to abolish the public slave-market, without affecting the in- 
stitution of Villenage, which we know, from history, continued to ex- 
ist in England for several centuries after this time. This you will 
perceive at once, on consulting the original Latin, because the words 
slave, slavery, or any term equivalent to them, is not to be found 
there. We shall see, in the progress of my work, that there was no 
change on this subject in the thirteenth century ; for, if there had been, 
it is impossible that the lawyers and the historians, whom I shall 
quote by and by, should have failed to notice it. 

Setting aside, then, this supposed action of the Council of London, 
we have the testimony of the other parts of the Church throughout 
the world, clear and unanimous, in support of the doctrine of the 
fathers. Beginning with the Apostolic Canons, and the Clementine 
Constitutions, which governed the East, we have the Council of Gan- 
gra, in Asia Minor, the Councils of Agde, Narbonne, and Orleans, in 
France ; the Council of Epone or Epanum, and Ma$on, in Burgundy ; 
the Council of Toledo, in Spain ; the Council of Berghamstead, near Can- 
terbury, in England; the Councils of Aix-la-Chapelle and Worms in 
Germany all distinctly proving the institution as it was acknowledged 
by the Church for the first nine hundred years of the Christian era, pro- 
viding for the return of fugitive slaves to their masters, repeating the 
duty of the slave to be faithful to his lord, and the duty of the mas- 
ter to be kind to the servant, while not one suggestion can be found 
imputing sin to the relation between the master and the slave, nor 
regarding it as a matter that ought to be abolished, nor treating it as 
inconsistent, in the slightest degree, with the purest principles of 
Christian piety. Nor is this the whole. For these councils further 
prove that slaves belonged to the churches, the monasteries, the 
bishops, and the clergy, during all these ages. So that thus far, no 
fact of ecclesiastical history admits of a fuller and more decisive de- 
monstration. Yet I shall give you still more evidence, so that you 
shall say, satis, superque. 

116 FLEURY. 


RIGHT REVEREND BROTHER : Some extracts from Fleury's Ecclesias- 
tical History will now be set before you, in further confirmation of 
the fact that the Church attached no sin to the relation of master and 
slave. In the treatment, there might be sin enough, as there may 
be in any other relation. But the institution was not to be blamed 
for that ; and hence, while it was the duty of the Church to amelior- 
ate, she made no movement to abolish, it. Such, from the beginning 
under the Apostles, was the universally accepted Christian doctrine. 

To the examples already given I shall add the following, viz. : 

" We have still," saith Fleury, " the testament of St. Gregory, of 
Nazianzum, dated the last day of December, A.D. 381. He there takes 
the title of Bishop of Constantinople. He continues to a virgin, named 
Russina, the pension which he had allowed for her support, with a 
house at her discretion, and he gives her two girls as slaves, such as 
she shall choose, to live with her all her lifetime ; he also gives her 
power to emancipate them, which if she fails to do, they shall belong 
to the Church of Nazianzum." (54) 

St. Perpetuus was another of these primitive Christian slaveholders. 
He "lived," saith Fleury, "until A.D. 491, and we have his testament 
made about May first, A.D. 475, in which he liberates several slaves, 
remits all the debts due to him, and bequeaths to his church several 
lots of knd and his books." (55) 

Alcuin, as you know, was an English prelate of the eighth century, 
educated by the Venerable Bede. Being sent on an embassy from 
Offa to Charlemagne, he became the instructor of that famous mon- 
arch in rhetoric, logic, and divinity. He also was an extensive slave- 
holder. For " Alcuin," saith our historian, " had the control of the 
revenue of his abbeys, and as the lands belonging to them were in- 
habited by serfs, Elipand of Toledo reproaches him with having of 
those bondmen no less than twenty thousand." (56) 

"In the Council of Soissons," saith the same author, "holden A.D. 

FLEURY. 117 

853, the bishops invoked the king to use his authority that he would 
forbid the seigneurs to hinder the bishops from having the peasants, 
who were serfs under those seigneurs, scourged with rods, when they 
deserved it for their crimes." (57) 

One quotation more from Fleury will suffice for his testimony. Ho 
gives us the decree of Pope Benedict VIII. A.D. 1022, just eleven 
years later than the supposed Canon of the Council of London, on 
which the Bishop of Oxford laid so much stress. And in this decree 
the Pontiff " declares," saith our historian, " that the children of the 
clergy are serfs to the Church in which their fathers officiated, even 
if their mothers were free, and he pronounces an anathema against 
the judges who should decide the contrary. And no serf of the 
Church, clerk or layman, should acquire any property under the 
name of a freeman, without incurring the punishment of the whip or 
the prison : until the Church should have withdrawn all the titles of 
the property." (58) 

The tender sensibilities so fashionable at the present day, will pro- 
bably be shocked to find the bishops in the ninth, and the Pope in 
the thirteenth century, authorizing the punishment of the whip and 
the prison, but I hope that they will remember how the pious Puri- 
tans of New-England, when their system was in its glory, and their 
preachers proclaimed that it was the most admirable manifestation of 
Christianity which had ever been known, scourged the Baptists at the 
public whipping-post, fined and imprisoned the Episcopalians, ban- 
ished the Roman Catholics and Quakers, and when these last dared 
to return, actually hung them on the gallows ! those punishments 
being inflicted, not for any crimes, but merely because the Episco- 
palians, Baptists, and Quakers insisted on following their own reli- 
gion I Since those days, indeed, the posterity of these worthy Puri- 
tans have become exceedingly tolerant in matters of faith, so far as 
faith concerns the doctrines of the Bible or the ancient creeds. But 
they are far from being tolerant on their modern dogma about the sin 
of slaveholding. If the Apostle Paul himself should come again, and 
preach the language of his own epistles, and presume to send back a 
fugitive slave to his Southern master, they would think no language 
too bitter, and no punishment too severe for his transgression. 

But I must not anticipate nor wander too far from the order of my 
witnesses. The next which I shall summon is one belonging to our 
mother Church, and worthy of all acceptation. 



RIGHT REVEREND BROTHER : The work of the learned Bingham, en- 
titled, The Antiquities of the Christian Church, is well known to you 
and your clergy, and from this I shall next take a few corroborative 

"Another state of life," saith this author, "which debarred men 
from the privilege of ordination, was that of slaves or vassals in the 
Roman empire, who, being originally tied ly "birth or purchase to 
their patroris or master's service, could not legally be ordained, be- 
cause the service of the Church was incompatible with their other 
duties, and no man was to be defrauded of his right under pretense 
of an ordination. In this case, therefore, the patron was always to 
be consulted before the servant was ordained. Thus, in one of those 
called the Apostolical Canons, we find a decree that no servants should 
be admitted among the clergy without the consent of their masters, to 
the grievance of the owners and subversion of their families. But 
if a servant be found worthy of an ecclesiastical promotion, as Onesi- 
mus was, and his master gave his consent and granted him his free- 
dom and let him go forth from his house, he may be ordained. The 
Council of Toledo has a canon to the same purpose."* 

" The imperial laws," saith the same author, "also made provision 
in this case, that no persons under such obligations should be admit- 
ted to any office of the clergy, or, if they were admitted merely to 
evade their obligations, their masters should have power to recall 
them to their service, unless they were bishops or presbyters, or had 
continued thirty years in some other office of the Church. By \vfoi6h 
it appears that the ordination of such persons ^was prohibited only 
on a civil account ; not because that state of life was sinful, or that 
it was any undervaluing or disgrace to the function to have such per- 
sons ordained, but because the duties of the civil and ecclesiastical 
state could not well consist together."! 

* Singham't Ortgines Ecclesiasticce. Vol. i. p. 48T. London ed. of 1843. 
t Ib. vol i. p. 488. 


Again, saith our author : " By one of the laws of the Theodosian 
Code, no slave is allowed to have sanctuary or entertainment in any 
church above one day, when notice was to be given to his master, 
from whom hefted for fear of punishment, that he might reclaim him 
and carry him 'back to his own possession, only giving promise of in- 
demnity and pardon for his faults, if they were not very great and 
heinous." * 

And again : "A slave," saith Bingham, " was not allowed to enter 
himself into a monastery, or take orders, without the consent of the 
master, as has been showed in other places, because this was to de- 
prive his master of his legal right of service, which, J>y the original 
state and condition of slaves, was his due : and the Church would 
not be accessory to such frauds and injustice, but rather discouraged 
them, by prohibitions and suitable penalties laid upon them." t 

This learned author died, as you know, in A.D. 1723, a hundred 
years before the rise, in England, of the modern abolition fever. He 
regarded the subject, therefore, in the old and familiar light of the 
Scriptures and the Church, and had no idea that, in the course of a 
century and a half, the maintenance of those views would be con- 
demned as " unworthy of any servant of Jesus Christ," by a bishop 
and a long train of clergy, and branded with their sentence of "in- 
dignant reprobation.? 

* Ib. vol. ii. p. 576. t Ib. voL vi. p. 19T-8. 



RIGHT REVEREND BROTHER : It is now time to adduce the next 
class of witnesses, namely, the divines and commentators since the 
Reformation in the sixteenth century, who will all demonstrate the 
same truth on which I stand, and thus, as I trust, condemn your act 
of condemnation. 

Beginning with Melancthon, the famous colleague of Luther, and 
one of the wisest and best men of his age, I shall present to you his 
comment on the sixth chapter of St. Paul's first epistle to Timothy, 
" Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own mas- 
ters worthy of all honor," elc. 

" In the beginning of the sixth chapter," saith Melancthon, " he 
gives a command to slaves, where the young should remember that 
the common rule is confirmed which is so often repeated, that the 
Gospel does not abolish the established order and polity, but preaches 
of other things, namely, of eternal good, eternal justice, and eternal 
life, which God produces in the hearts of men, whom, nevertheless, 
He wills, in this mortal life, to be subject to that order which, ac- 
cording to the will of God, is suitable to corporal life. He wills us 
to be sustained with meat and drink, He wills lawful marriage and 
progeny, He wills the ordinary consociation of the human race, the 
distinction of dominions, the defense of imperial government, con- 
tracts, laws, judgments, punishments. So here we see that slavery 
is approved, such as was then laid down in the laws. For it is pro- 
fitable both to consciences and to peace that we should understand 
this doctrine concerning the approbation of political order." (59) 

From this sound and conservative sentence of Melancthon, I pro- 
ceed to his no less celebrated contemporary, Calvin, whose opinions 
were for a long while regarded as of the highest human authority, 
not only by the reformed Christians on the continent of Europe, gen- 
erally, but specially by the Church of England herself. This is his 
comment on the same passage, viz. : 

CALVIN. 121 

"As every man is disposed, with a false estimate, to arrogate su- 
periority to himself, there is no one who bears with equanimity that 
others should govern him. Those who can not avoid the necessity, 
do indeed unwillingly obey their superiors : but inwardly they fret 
and feel indignant, as if they thought some injury was done to them. 
All such disputations, however, the Apostle cuts off with one word, 
when he exacts a willing subjection from all who are under the yolce. 
For he shows that they were not to inquire whether they were worthy 
of such fortune, or of a letter one ; because it was enough that they 
were bound in that condition" (60) 

In his commentary on the latter part of the verse, " that the name 
of God be not blasphemed," this eminent reformer and divine pro- 
ceeds as follows : 

"We are always more ingenious than is fit, in defense of our own 
accommodation. Thus, when the slaves had unbelieving masters, 
the objection was at hand, that it was shameful for those who served 
the devil to have dominion over the children of God. But Paul, on 
the contrary^returns the argument that even unbelieving masters 
must be obeyed, lest the name of God and His Gospel should be 
blasphemed, as if the Gospel made those to be contumacious and 
stubborn who ought to be subject to others." (61) % 

And in his introduction to the Epistle of Paul to Philemon, he 
gives this passage : 

" How great was the elevation of Paul's spirit, although it may be 
better perceived in his more weighty writings, is also witnessed in 
this epistle, in which, treating an argument otherwise humble and 
abject, he raises it sublimely to God. Sending back again to his 
master a slave who was a fugitive and a thief, he asks that he may 
be forgiven." (62) 

I invite your attention next to the commentary on this same epis 
tie to Philemon, which we have in Pool's Synopsis Criticorum. I 
need not inform you that this belongs to the Presbyterian school, as 
it is extracted from the continental writers who had no episcopacy. 

In the introduction to the commentary, we read the following : 

** This epistle is written by Paul in a new style, and alone deserves 
to be called, truly and properly, a letter. Its utility is manifold. It 
admonishes us, first, that no one is to be despised, however abject 
his condition ; second, that we should not despair of the capacity of 
slaves ; third, that slaves, believing in Christ, are not on that ac- 


count to be made free, or taken away from unwilling masters ; 
fourth, what is the office of a bishop, as well towards inferiors as 
towards the more noble. The motive of writing this letter was that 
the Apostle might reconcile the slave to his master. Which, as it 
seemed difficult, the master having the most just cause to be of- 
fended since the slave had fled, as it is believed, with stolen pro- 
perty he (St. Paul) approaches him (Philemon) with all the art of 
oratory. If there is any thing to be admired in the line of per- 
suasiveness, certainly it is this epistle." (63) 

From the same work I take another and very precise comment on 
the Epistle to the Ephesians, 6:5, " Servants, be obedient to your 
masters," etc, 

" The Apostle does not take away the custom then established of 
using slaves, for it has its advantages, and it is lawful to use it 
rightly. He teaches that Christian liberty is consistent with polit- 
ical slavery, and that political arrangements are neither taken away 
nor changed, by Christ." (64) 

Another important comment occurs in Pool's Synopsis on 1 Cor. 
7 : 21 : "Art thou called, being a servant? care not for it, but if 
thou mayest be made free, use it rather." That is, saith the com- 
mentator, " Use servitude: rather serve, for the sake of greater good, 
namely, for thine own exercise, arid the salvation of thy master. 
Syrus thus renders this text : 4 But even if thou art able to become 
free, (meaning, by thine own arts and fraud,) choose rather to remain 
in slavery? To this sense the following consolatory reason is most 
accordant : ' For he who is called, being a slave, is the Lord's free- 
man.' Nevertheless he does not will this, that they should prefer 
slavery to freedom when freedom is spontaneously offered by the 
master, but that they should prefer it to an illegitimate freedom, by 
flight or fraud." (65) 



RIGHT REVEREND BROTHER : It would be less laborious to myself, 
and probably more agreeable to you, if I should limit my quotations 
to a few of the more important passages of the Commentators. But 
I am pledged to make thorough work of my undertaking, as I have 
to deal with a widely spread and popular error. And therefore I 
shall here commence with all the texts cited in the Bible View of 
Slavery, and prove, beyond the possibility of any honest doubt, that 
I have given them the settled and established interpretation, by 
which you were bound, as well as myself, when you were admitted 
to the ministry. 

The list of commentators embraces Pool's Synopsis, Patrick, Lowth 
and Whitby, Gill, Henry, Scott, the Comprehensive Commentary 
D'Oyley and Mant, Clark, and on the New Testament, Davenant, 
Hammond, Doddridge, Macknight, Wordsworth, and Alford. Reckon- 
ing Melancthon for the Lutherans, the others will represent the 
Presbyterians, the Baptists, the Methodists, and the Congregational- 
ists, as well as the Protestant Episcopalians. The Letters on Slavery 
by the late learned Bishop England, will next be cited for the Church 
of Rome. And no one pretends to doubt the opinions of the Church 
of Russia and the Oriental Christians. Thus you will have the 
whole of Christendom, up to the time of your ordination, and beyond 
it, in support of Scriptural truth, which I trust will be quite enough 
for my justification. The voice of the entire Catholic (or universal) 
Church, on the one side, and the Bishop of Pennsylvania with his 
hundred and sixty-four clergymen on the other, will then present a 
contrast which should convert the most zealous ultra-abolitionist, 
unless he be determined to scorn alike the plain sense of the Bible, 
and the unanimous consent of all its chief expounders, for eighteen 
hundred years together. 

Beginning with the prophecy of Noah, let us look at the comment" 
ary in Pool's Synopsis, Gen. 9 : 25 : "Cursed le Canaan," etc. 


" Some read here h ?K the father of Canaan. So is the Arabic 
version, as it is twice expressed a little before. Others accept Ca- 
naan. That this people was cursed is shown by the event. Hence 
it is inferred with probability that he was the companion of his fath- 
er's iniquity. But Ham was not exempt from the curse, because his 
son was named, as Shem was blessed in the next verse, although God 
is named, and Jacob is said to have blessed Joseph, Gen. 48 : 15, 
when he blessed his children, v. 16. For the parent is punished in 
his children, being conscious of the sin, and perhaps both its author 
and exhibitor, as the Hebrew doctors and Theodoret explain the 
subject. Some writers remark that Noah cursed the posterity of 
Ham, but that Moses, omitting the other sons of Ham, specified Ca- 
naan individually, because he wished only to record those things 
which might strengthen the Israelites and make them more ready to 
take possession of the promised land of Canaan." (66) 

Here we have the result of Pool's authorities, which substantially 
agrees with the opinion of Bishop Newton, already set forth in the 
third chapter. 

The phrase " servant of servants" in the malediction of Noah, is 
rendered "slave of slaves" by Pool, that is, the lowest and most vile 
of slaves. (67) 

On the text in Gen. 17 : 12, where Abraham is commanded to cir- 
cumcise -those who were born in the house, and also those who were 
bought with money of any stranger, the same work gives us the fol- 
lowing opinions, viz. : 

" The uncircumcised man could live in the land of the Hebrews, 
under good laws, but not in the house of an Israelite, lest his ex- 
ample might corrupt the people. And the question arises whether 
the servants bought with money could be compelled to submit to 
circumcision. Many, from this text, affirm that they could. For, 
first, the slave is the property of the master. Second. The language 
is that of command, which would be destroyed if you understand it 
as depending on the will of the slave. Third. If it were otherwise, 
there would be no distinction between the hireling and the slave, for 
the hireling was permitted (not commanded) to be circumcised. 
(Exod. 12 : 44.) Others, however, deny these conclusions. They think 
that no adult slave was obliged to be circumcised, nor his children, 
unless he willingly consented. For otherwise he would be placed under 



a necessity of sinning, and ordered to be a hypocrite. Nor would such 
a circumcision have been a sacrament of the divine covenant, which 
can only be embraced by the willing. Moreover, true religion ought 
to persuade rather than compel. Maimonides thus explains it, when, 
treating of circumcision, ch. 1, sect. 6, he saith, * If any one bought 
an adult slave from the Cushites who refused to "be circumcised. Tie 
ought to le sold to the Cushites again" (68) 

I have quoted this passage mainly in order to prove that the Is- 
raelites, according to Maimonides, the highest Jewish authority, did 
not confine their purchases of slaves to the posterity of Canaan, but 
included the other progeny of Ham, viz., the Cushites, even as 
Abraham held Hagar, the Egyptian, descended from Mizraim, an- 
other son of Ham, as a slave to his wife, Sarah. These facts give 
additional force to the opinion of Bishop Newton, showing how the 
Jews themselves understood the prophecy of Noah. 

In the commentary of Pool on the Ten Commandments, which 
contain, by preeminence, the moral law, bound by our own Seventh 
Article upon all Christians, there are two passages, one oh the fourth 
and the other on the tenth, which are worth your notice. 

Exodus 20 : 10, where the Almighty commands the Sabbath-day 
to be kept holy, our author translates " thy man-servant," by the 
proper term, " thy slave" and adds this comment, " Nor shalt thou 
enjoin any labors to them," (the slaves,) " nor suffer them to work. 
This is to be understood of those who were not Jews, for the Jews 
were prohibited from work by the words preceding." (69) 

The same chapter, v. 17, contains the Tenth Commandment, which 
forbids coveting the "man-servant and the maid-servant." And 
here our commentator gives this interpretation, viz. : "By these 
words of the law the dominion and property of those things which 
it is not permitted to covet are thoroughly established, as also slav- 
ery and the power of the master" (70) 

If it pleased the All- Wise and Supreme Lawgiver to sanction the 
institution of slavery in two of the commands issued from Mount 
Sinai, and engraved on the tables of stone by the hand of God, that 
fact alone should be conclusive, to every man who professes to be- 
lieve the Bible, that there was no sin necessarily involved in it. 

I turn next to the commentary of Pool, on that famous verse, Deut. 
23 : 15, which the ultra-abolitionist is never weary of quoting, " Thou 
shalt not deliver unto his master the servant which is escaped from 


his master unto thee," etc. " He speaks," saith Pool, " of a foreign 
master. Thus the land of Israel becomes an asylum. Understand 
it as referring to those slaves who fled to the Israelites from heathen 
masters, on account of their tyranny, for the sake of embracing Ju- 
daism" (71) This, which is the only rational interpretation, would 
evidently give no warrant for refusing obedience to the Constitution 
and the law of Congress, in the case of fugitive slaves, unless two 
facts could first be clearly established, first, that they had escaped 
from a foreign land, and secondly, that their masters were heathen. 

The text in Exodus, 21 : 16, which forbids man-stealing, is inter- 
preted to apply to Israelites only. " He that stealeth a man" "name- 
ly," saith Pool, " an Israelite, as appears from Deut. 24 : 7, whom 
any Jew, by force or by fraud, should "bring into slavery, and sell to 
the Gentiles" (72) You will find, before I conclude my labor, that 
this law of Moses, so constantly perverted by the school of ultra- 
abolitionism, has no reference whatever to the case of the Jewish 
slaves, but was designed to protect the liberty of the chosen people, 
lest any should imitate the sons of Jacob who sold their brother 
Joseph to the Midianites. 

I shall only add one quotation more from Pool, where the book of 
Ezra states the numbers of the Israelites, who returned from their 
captivity under the decree of Cyrus, at forty-two thousand three 
hundred and sixty, " besides their servants and their maids, of whom 
there were seven thousand three hundred and thirty- seven." Ezra, 
2 : 64-5. On this passage, our commentator saith : " Behold the 
poor fortune of the captives, when so many thousands had no more 
slaves than these." (73) 

But I doubt not that you have had enough of Pool's Synopsis, 
though it gives the cream of the best European commentators up to 
the middle of the seventeenth century, and has been the main guide 
of all who have succeeded him. I shall therefore pass on to another 
work of the highest reputation, especially among Episcopalians, which 
will furnish further evidence to confirm the truth. 



RIGHT REVEREND BROTHER : I need not inform you that the Com- 
mentary of Patrick, Lowth, and Whitby stands in the front rank of 
authority, in our mother Church of England, and in our own. Si- 
mon Patrick, Bishop of Chichester, and afterwards of Ely, was dis- 
tinguished for learning, piety, and talent. Robert Lowth, successively 
Bishop of St. David's, Oxford, and London, was little less eminent. 
And Dr. Whitby, for erudition and judgment, had few equals in his 
day. Let us next, therefore, attend to their testimony on the texts 
to which I have referred. 

On the prophecy of Noah, Gen. 9 : 22-7, this Commentary states 
it as the opinion of the Hebrew doctors, " that Canaan first saw Noah 
in this indecent posture, and made sport of it to his father, who 
was so far from reproving him, as he ought to have done, that he also 
did the same." " In the street, publicly before the people, he pro- 
claimed his father's shame and mocked at it. For Ham is gener- 
ally thought to have been an impious man, and some take him to have 
been the first inventor of idols after the flood." 

Verse 25 : Cursed be Canaan, etc. "If what I have said," contin- 
ues Bishop Patrick, " be allowed, it makes it easy to give an account 
why Canaan is cursed rather than Ham, because he was first guilty. 
Ham, indeed, was punished in him ; but he had other sons, on whom 
the punishment did not fall, but only on this. For which I can find 
no other reason so probable as that before named. Which, if it be 
not allowed, we must have recourse to a harsh interpretation ; and 
ly Canaan, understand Canaan's father, as some do." 

And Canaan shall le his servant. " As the blessing promised to 
Abraham was not fulfilled in his own person, but in his posterity 
many ages after his death ; so this curse upon Cham did not take 
place till the same time ; the execution of God's curse upon the one 
being his conferring a blessing on the other." 

" It is observed by Campanella that ' none are descended from Cham 


but slaves, and tyrants, who are indeed slaves.' But Mr. Mede's ob- 
servation is more pertinent. ' There hath never yet been a son of 
Cham that hath shaken a sceptre over the head of Japheth. Shem 
hath subdued Japheth, a*nd Japheth subdued Shem, but Cham never 
subdued either." 

Here we have a different opinion, in some respects, from that which 
is preferred by Bishop Newton and others. But the commentator 
gives the worst character to Ham ; and refers to the other interpreta- 
tion as adopted by some, while he proposes his own with great 
modesty, and does not mention the Arabic version. Taking the 
whole, indeed, together, there is no serious conflict between these 

We come next to Abraham's history, Gen. 12 : 5 : where Bishop 
Patrick interprets "all the souls they had gotten," to mean, "All the 
slaves born in their house or bought with their money." And he re- 
fers to this in his comment upon Gen. 14 : 14, where we read that 
Abraham "armed his trained servants" in these words: "Abram 
drew forth a select number of his servants; whom he had instructed 
to handle arms in case of any assault by robbers or injurious neigh- 
bor';. We read before (12 : 5) of the servants (slaves) they brought 
wif a tb 3m from Haran ; and now they were more increased, so that 
he mi ht well make a little army out of them." It is plain, there- 
fore, that these three hundred and eighteen servants were home-born 
f laves, according to this commentator. 

In Ms remarks on Gen. 17 : 13, he is still more express, as follows : 
Versr 13. He that is horn in thy house, or bought with money, 
must needs he circumcised. "Not whether they would or no, for men 
were not to be compelled to religion, which had been a profanation of 
this covenant. But Abraham was to persuade them to it ; and if 
they consented not, to keep them no longer in his house, but to sell 
the n to some other people. So Maimonides expounds it, in his book 
of Circumcision, chap. 1, which is true both of servants born in 
th ) house, and bought with money ; but as for the children of these 
si ives, they were to be circumcised whether their parents would or 
n 3 ; because they were the possession of their masters, not of their 
parents. For which cause, when the parents were set free, their child" 
ren were left behind, as their master's goods. Exod. 21 : 4." 

Turning next to Bishop Patrick's Comment on the Tenth Com- 
mandment, Exodus 20 : 17, Thou shalt not covet, we find these words, 


" nor his man servant nor his maid servant, etc., which are his PRIN- 

On Exodus 21 : 4 : If his master have given him a wife, this learned 
commentator saith as follows : " Unto such a servant as this, who 
was sold by the Court of Judgment, his master might give a Gentile 
maid io wife (and no other Hebrew but such as he might marry a 
Gentile) that he might beget children of her, who were to be the mas- 
ter's servants or slaves forever.' 11 

" The wife and children shall fie his master's. For the wife was a 
slave as well as himself when he married her. And she was given to 
wife, merely that he might beget slaves of her, who therefore continued 
with the master, as well as their mother, when the man had his liberty, 
for they were not so much his, as his master's goods; who had such 
a powe,r over them, that he might circumcise them, as he did his own 
children, without their consent." 

Here we see that the separation of the family was not considered 
so awful a thing under the Jewish system of slavery. Nor, indeed, 
can one help wondering at the indignant reproaches of niany philan- 
thropic persons, on account of the same difficulty in the Southern in- 
stitution. For we all know that our free families separate of their 
own accord every day, on the slightest inducements of advantage ; 
and the bonds of parental and filial attachment are so weak, that any 
personal inclination or interest suffices to break them. So general is 
this fact that I doubt whether there is half as much of this very sepa- 
ration amongst the slaves by the act of their masters, as there is 
amongst freemen, by the force of discontent, the love of change, 
cupidity, and ambition. 

But let us not digress too much from our commentary, where the 
case of the slave, killed by his master, next invites attention. 

Exod. 21 : 20 : If a man smite his servant. " A slave," saith 
Bishop Patrick, " who was not an Israelite, but a Gentile." 

He shall surely "be punished. " With death, say the Hebrew doctors, 
(in Selden, lib. iv.,) if the servant died while he was beating him ; for 
that is meant by dying under his hand. But it seems more likely to 
me that he was to be punished for his cruelty, as the judge who ex- 
amined this fact thought meet. For his smiting with a rod, not with 
a sword, was a sign that he intended only to correct him, not to kill 
him. And besides, no man could be thought to be willing to lose his 
own goods, as such servants were. 


Verse 21 : Notwithstanding if Tie continue a day or two. " A 
day and a night, as the Hebrew doctors interpret it." 

He shall not l)e punished. "Because it might be presumed he did 
not die of these strokes." 

He is his money. " His death was a loss to his master, who there- 
fore might well be judged not to have any intention to kill him, and 
was sufficiently punished by losing the benefit of his service." 

"We come now to the Jubilee, which the ultra-abolitionist always 
quotes as a proof that every fiftieth year set free not only those He- 
brews who were held in temporary bondage, but also the slaves, 
without any exception. No error could be more grossly inexcusable 
than this. But let us look at the judgment of Bishop Patrick upon 
the question. 

Leviticus 25 : 10. And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and pro- 
claim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants there- 
of. " That is," saith our commentator, to all the children of Israel 
who were servants ; or so poor that they had sold their estates." 

And ye shall return every man to his possession. " Unto his field 
or his house, which his poverty had forced him to sell, but now was 
restored to him without any price, because they were not sold abso- 
lutely but only to this year. By which means the estates of the 
Israelites were so fixed, that no family could ruin itself or grow too 
rich. For this law provided against such changes, revoking once in 
fifty years all alienations, and setting every one in the same condition 
wherein he was at the first." 

V. 39. And if thy brother that dwelleth by thee be waxen poor, 
and be sold unto thee. " Some were sold by the court of judgment 
when they had committed theft, and were not able to make satisfac- 
tion. Others were sold by their parents, (Exod. 21 : 7, 8.) But 
others sold themselves, being reduced to great poverty, notwithstand- 
ing the alms that had been bestowed upon them. And of such the 
Hebrew doctors understand these words." 

Thou shalt not compel him to serve as a bond-servant. " As a 
slave, which they bought of other nations or took in their wars ; over 
whom they had an absolute dominion, (as they had over their goods 
and cattle,) and might bequeath them and their children to their sons 
and posterity forever (v. 45-6) or sell them and their children at 
their pleasure." 

Verse 40. But as a hired servant and as a sojourner. " They were 


to treat him gently, as they did those who let out their service for 
wages, for a certain time, and then were at their own disposal again." 

And shall serve thee unto the year of Jubilee. " Beyond which 
time it was not lawful to keep him in service ; for in the very begin- 
ning of this year, all such servants were dismissed." 

Verse 41. And then shall he depart from thee, both he and his 
children with him. " His master to whom he was sold might keep 
him till the Jubilee, whereas he that was sold by the court of judg- 
ment might go free, if he pleased, in the seventh year of release." 
(Exod. 21 : 2.) 

Verse 42. For they are my servants which I brought forth out of 
the land of Egypt. "A good reason why they should not be treated 
like slaves, because they were all redeemed by God out of the slavery 
of Egypt into a state of perfect liberty." 

Verse 44. Both thy bondmen and thy bondmaids which thou shalt 
have, shall be of the heathen. " If they would have any slaves, they 
were to be such of other nations as were sold to them or were taken 
by them in their wars. Whence the very name of mancipia came, 
as the Roman lawyers tell us, quasi manu capti, and the name of 
servus also, which signifies one who was saved when he might have 
been killed." 

Verse 45. Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn 
among you, of them shall ye buy. " Whether they were perfect pro- 
selytes by circumcision or only proselytes of the gate, their children 
were not exempted from being made slaves, if they sold them to the 

And of the families that are with you, which they begat in your 
land. " If any of their family or kindred, as the Seventy translate 
it, had begat children in Judea, and would sell them, the Jews might 
make a purchase of them." 

They shall be your possession. "Become your proper goods and 
continue with you, as your lands do, unless they have their liberty 
granted to them. And the first sort of proselytes obtained it three 
ways ; either by purchasing it themselves or by their friends ; or by 
being dismissed by their master, by a writing under his hand ; or in 
the case mentioned in Exod. 21 : 26, when the loss of an eye or a 
tooth by the master's severity serve only for examples of other maims, 
which procured such a servant his liberty. But the second sort of 
proselytes did not obtain their liberty, if we may believe the Hebrew 


doctors, by this last means, but only by the two first. And the year 
of Jubilee gave no servants of either sort their liberty. 1 ' 

Verse 46. And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your child- 
ren after you. " To whom they might bequeath the very bodies of 
them and their children." 

To inherit them for a possession. " That they might have the 
same power and dominion over them that they had over their lands, 
goods, or cattle." 

They shall be your bondmen forever. "Not have the benefit of the 
year of Jubilee, but be your slaves as long as they live ; unless 
they, by any of the means before mentioned, obtain their liberty." 

I have thus shown, clearly and distinctly, that according to this 
learned commentator, who was particularly conversant with the writ- 
ings of the Jews, the slaves of the heathen races, notwithstanding 
they were proselytes, were not set free in the year of Jubilee, that 
privilege being entirely confined to the posterity of Jacob, the chosen 
people. And next I shall set before you the judgment of Bishop Pat- 
rick upon that other text, which is equally misrepresented by the 
teachers of ultra-abolitionism. 

Deut. 23 : 15. Thou shalt not deliver unto his master the servant 
which is escaped from his master unto thee. " The Hebrew doctors 
understand this of a servant of another nation who was become a 
Jew ; whom his master, if he went to dwell out of Judea, might not 
carry along with him against his will ; and if he fled from him when 
he had carried him, he might not be delivered to him, but suffered to 
dwell in the land of Israel. Which they understand also of a servant 
that fled, from his master out of any of the countries of the Gen- 
tiles into the land of Israel, which was to be a safe refuge to him." 
(See Selden, lib. vi.) 

The latter part of the above is the explanation given in the Bible 
View of Slavery, where it is shown that the distorted interpretation 
of the ultra-abolitionist is a sheer absurdity. 

And now I come to the other favorite text about man-stealing. 
Deut. 24 : 7. If any man be found stealing any of his brethren the 
children of Israel, and maketh merchandise of him or selleth him, 
then that thief shall die. 

The comment of Bishop Patrick refers to a similar law in ancient 
Athens, by which if any one stole a man, "death should be his pun- 
ishment, as Xenophon reports it. And he was accounted a man- 


stealer, who, not only by force or by fraud, carried away a freeman 
and sold him for a slave, or suppressed him ; but Tie who inveigled 
away another man's servant, and persuaded him to run away, w con- 
cealed, such a fugitive. (As Sam. Petitus observes, out of Pollux and 
others, lib. vii. Leges Atticas, tit. 5. p. 533.) Which makes me 
think," continues our commentator, " not only he that stole one of 
his brethren of the children of Israel, but he that stole a proselyte 
of any sor^ or the servant of a stranger, was liable to the punishment 
mentioned in this law of Moses." 

I commend this passage, my Right Reverend Brother, to your spe- 
cial attention, because it has a double application against the doctrine 
of the ultra-abolitionist. By that doctrine we are'told that, accord- 
ing to the Mosaic law, the deadly sin of man-stealing was committed 
by those who first brought the savage negro from the slave-coast of 
Africa, and continues to attach to the slave-owner of the present day, 
whose title is no better than the original. And by the same doctrine 
we are assured, that it is laudable and virtuous to induce a slave to 
run away from his master, and to conceal the fugitive, if necessary 
to insure his escape. But Bishop Patrick repudiates both these as- 
sumptions, showing, with respect to the first, that the law of Moses 
forbade the stealing of an Israelite, and said nothing of the heathen 
barbarian ; and, with respect to the second, that he who inveigled a 
proselyte, being a bond-servant, and " persuaded him to run away 
from his master, or concealed such a fugitive," was so far from the 
performance of a meritorious action, that he was " liable to the pun- 
ishment" mentioned in this very law. If Bishop Patrick had foreseen 
the reckless style in which our ultra-abolitionists pervert this text at 
the present day, he could hardly have written a more apposite con- 

Let us now pass on to the texts in the New Testament, and ex- 
amine what the same commentary pronounces concerning them. 
And here we have it arranged in the manner of a paraphrase. 

Eph. 6:5: " Servants be obedient to them that are your masters, 
(though they be only so,) according to the flesh, (the spirit being im- 
mediately subject to God alone,) with fear (of displeasing them) and 
trembling (lest you should justly incur their anger, serving them) in 
singleness of your heart, as (knowing that in thus serving them you 
do service) unto Christ, (who requires this of you, whose Gospel you 
will credit by your sincere obedience to your masters for his sake, 

134: WHITE Y. 

Tit. 2 : 2, and whose doctrine you will blaspheme by your disobedi- 
ence, under pretense of any Christian liberty, from the observance of 
your duty to them. 1 Tim. 6:1, 2. 9. " And, ye masters, do the 
same things to them, (show the like good-will to and concern for 
them,) forbearing threatening, (remitting oft the evils which you 
threaten to them,) knowing that your Master also is in heaven." 

Colos. 2 : 22 : " Servants, obey in all (lawful) things (those who are) 
your masters according to the flesh." Verse 25. But h (of you) 
that doeth wrong (to his master) shall receive (of the Lord, punish- 
ment) for the wrong which he hath done, and there is no respect of 
persons with him." 

Ch. 3:1: " Masters, give unto your servants that which is just 
and equal, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven, (who, 
with what measure ye mete to others, will mete to you again, Matt. 
7 : 2, and deal with you, his servants, as you deal with yours.) " 

In the annotation on verse 25 of the second chapter, the comment- 
ator saith as follows, viz. : 

Verse 25, Respect of persons. " Christ, in judging men at the last 
day, will have no respect to the quality or external condition of any 
man's person ; but whether he be bond or free, Tie shall receive re- 
compense for the good that he hath done, in obedience to him, wheth- 
er he be master or servant, he shall be punished for the wrong that 
he dfid in those relations. It being certain, from the second chapter, 
that the Judaizers were got into the Church of Colosse, and that 
many of them denied that the Jews ought to be servants to any, and 
the Essenes judging all servitude unlawful, this might be the reason 
why here, and Titus 2, the Apostle is so large in charging this duty 
on servants." 

In the preface to the Epistle of St. Paul to Philemon, the comment- 
ator proceeds as follows : 

" First, no Christian, though of the meanest sort, is to be contemn- 
ed. Christianity makes the vilest servant both profitable and worth} r 
to be highly loved and honored by persons in the highest dignity, 
Onesimus being by the Apostle styled his son, and his bowels." 

" Secondly. Christianity doth not impair the power of masters 
over their servants, or give any authority to them who convert them 
to use them as their servants, without leave granted from their mas- 

WHITBY. 1-35 

" Thirdly. Servants ought to make satisfaction for any wrong or 
injury they have done to their masters." 

" Fourthly. There is an affection due from the master to a profit- 
able servant." 

These extracts are abundantly sufficient to prove the substantial 
accordance of Patrick, Lowth, and Whitby, with all that has gone 

136 HENRY. 


RIGHT REVEREND BROTHER: The commentary of the Rev. Dr. 
Matthew Henry, which is a favorite with very many, may next be 
cited, and I shall make several extracts from it, bearing on our sub- 

On Levit 25 : 39, etc., this author writes as follows : " We have 
here the laws concerning servitude. First. That a native Israelite 
should never be made a bondman for perpetuity. If he was sold for 
debt, or for a crime, by the house of judgment, he was to serve but 
six years, and to go out the seventh. That was appointed, Exod. 
21 : 2. But if he sold himself, through extreme poverty, having 
nothing at all left him to preserve his life, and if it was to one of his 
own nation that he sold himself, in such case it is here provided, 
first, that he should not serve as a "bond-servant, nor be sold witk the 
sale of a bondman, that is, it must not be looked upon that his mas- 
ter that bought him had as absolute a property in him as in a captive 
taken in war, that might be used, sold, and bequeathed, at pleasure, 
as much as a man's cattle ; no, he shall serve thee as a hired servant. 
Second. That he should not be ruled with rigor, and his work and 
usage must be such as were fitting for a son of Abraham. Third. That 
at the year of jubilee he should go out free, he and his children, and 
should return to his own family and possession." 

u But the Jews might purchase bondmen of the heathen nations 
that were round about them, or of those strangers that sojourned 
among them, and might claim a dominion over them, and entail 
them upon their families as an inheritance, for the year of jubilee 
should give no discharge to them" 

I turn next to the comment on Deut 23 : 15, where the precept 
occurs : " Thou shalt not deliver unto his master the servant which 
is escaped from his master unto thee." And here we find Matthew 
Henry adopting the same interpretation which we have already seen 
in the other commentaries the only one which could be adopted 
with any sense or reason, viz. : 

HENET. 137 

"First. The land of Israel," saith he, "is here made a sanctuary, 
or city of refuge, for servants that were wronged by their masters, 
and fled thither for shelter, from the neighboring countries, v. 15-16. 
We can not suppose that they were hereby obliged to give shelter to 
all the unprincipled men that ran from service ; Israel needed not (as 
Rome a-t first did) to be thus peopled. But, first, they must not de- 
liver up the trembling servant to his enraged master, till upon trial 
it appeared that the servant had wronged his master, and was justly 
liable to punishment. Note, it is an honorable thing to shelter and 
protect the weak, provided they be not wicked. God allows his 
people to patronize the oppressed. The angel bid Hagar return to 
her mistress, and St. Paul sent Onesimus back to his master, Phile- 
mon, because they had neither of them any cause to go away, nor 
were either of them exposed to any danger in returning. But the 
servant here is supposed to escape, that is, to run for his life to the 
people of Israel, of whom he had heard that they were a merciful 
people, to save himself from the fury of a tyrant, and in that case, 
to deliver him up, is to throw a lamb into the mouth of a lion" 

" Second. If it appeared that the servant was abused, they must 
not only protect him, but, supposing him willing to embrace their 
religion, they must give him all the encouragement that might be, to 
settle among them. Thus would he soon find a comfortable differ- 
ence between the land of Israel and other lands, and would choose it 
to be his rest forever." , 

Here we see, 1st, That this commentator properly limits the pre- 
cept to the case of fugitive slaves " from the neighboring countries," 
namely, foreigners, and therefore it could have no application to the 
slaves who abscond from the Southern States, because those States 
were bound with the rest under the same Constitution, which spe- 
cially provided for them. 

2. We see that, even in the case of foreign fugitives, Henry would 
have the Israelites hear the master; and judge whether the slave had 
any cause to justify his running away. And if, on a hearing, it ap- 
peared that he had wronged his master, and was justly liable to pun- 
ishment, he should be delivered up again. 

8. We see that the commentator refers to Hagar, whom the angel 
sent back to her mistress, and to Onesimus, whom St. Paul sent back 
to his master Philemon, because " neither of them had any cause to 
run away, nor were either of them exposed to any danger in return- 

138 HENRY. 

ing." And the kind of danger to which Henry refers is perfectly 
manifest when he tells us, that the servant is " supposed to run for 
his life" to save himself from " the fury of a tyrant" in which 
case, "to deliver him up is to throw a lamb into the mouth of a 

4. We see, lastly, that the Israelites, on hearing the facts, as well 
on the part of the master as on the part of the fugitive, would be 
likely to decide according to the established laws of servitude, be- 
cause they likewise were slaveholders, and would therefore be suffi- 
ciently careful to pronounce no judgment unfavorable to the rights 
of the master, or likely to encourage the rebellion of slaves against 

Thus reasonably interpreted, it needs no argument to show that 
this precept, so constantly cited by the. ultra-abolitionists as an ex- 
cuse for violating the fugitive slave law, has not the slightest appli- 
cation to the subject And the popular perversion of it to such a 
purpose is only a specimen of the " wresting of Scripture," which is 
unhappily so common at this day. 

The text in Deut. 24 : 7, which forbids man-stealing, is com- 
mented on very briefly by Dr. Henry, but he does not differ from 
the rest. These are his words, viz. : 

" This was a very heinous offense, for, first, it was robbing the 
public of one of its members ; second, it was taking away a man's 
liberty, the liberty of a free-born Israelite, which was next in value 
to his life ; third, it was driving a man out from the inheritance of 
the land (Israel) to the privileges of which he was entitled, and bid- 
ding him go serve other gods, as David complains against Saul. 1 Sam. 
26 : 19." 

This is the whole ; but brief as it is, we see that Henry considers 
the law as only applicable to the case of stealing and selling an Israel- 
ite to a heathen people. 

The remarks of Cruden, in his Concordance, under the word 
"steal," are very fair, viz. : "Though there was no penalty annexed 
to the law forbidding theft," saith he, " except restitution, yet to 
steal away a freeman, or an Hebrew, and to reduce him to the 
state of servitude, was punished with death. Exod. 21 : 16. The 
Jews do not think that the stealing of a man of any other nation de- 
serves death, but only the theft of a free Hebrew. If it be a stranger 
that is stole, they were only condemned to restitution. They found 

HENRY. 139 

this distinction upon a law in Deut. 24 : 7, which limits this law 
concerning man-stealing : If a man ~be found stealing any of his 
'brethren of the children of Israel ; which exception the Septuagint 
and Onkelos have inserted in the text of Exod. 21 : 16." 

On the passages which I have cited from the New Testament, the 
commentary of Dr. Henry confirms what we have seen in the others. 
Thus, on 1 Cor. 7 : 21, "Art thou called, "being a servant? care not 
for it, hut if thou mayest l)e made free, use it rather," he saith : u It 
was common in that age of the world, for many to be in a state of 
slavery, bought and sold for money, and so the property of those 
who purchased them. * Now,' says the Apostle, * art thou called, 
leing a servant f care not for it? Be not over-solicitous about it. It 
is not inconsistent with thy duty, profession, or hopes, as a Christ- 
ian. Yet, if thou mayest ~be made free, use it rather. (21) There 
are many conveniences in a state of freedom, above that of servitude ; 
therefore, liberty is the more eligible state. But men's outward con- 
dition does not let nor farther their acceptance with God. For he 
that is called, "being a servant, is the Lor&s freeman, as he that is 
called, being free, is the Lord's servant. Though he be not dis- 
charged from his master's service, he is freed from the dominion and 
vassalage of sin. He who is a slave may yet be a Christian freeman ; 
he who is a freeman may yet be Christ's servant. He is bought 
with a price, and should riot therefore be the servant of man. Not that 
he must quit the service of his master, or not take all proper mea- 
sures to please him, (this were to contradict the whole scope of the 
Apostle's discourse,} but he must not be so the servant of men, but 
that Christ's will must be obeyed and regarded, more than his mas- 
ter's. He has paid a much dearer purchase for him, and has a much 
fuller property in him." 

V. 24. Let every man wherein he is called, a~bide therein with 
God. " This," continues our commentator, " is to be understood of 
the state wherein a man is converted to Christianity. No man should 
make his faith or religion an argument to break through any nat- 
ural or civil obligations. He should quietly and comfortably abide 
in the condition in which he is, and this he may well do, when he 
may abide therein with God. Note, the special presence and favor 
of God are not limited to any outward condition or performance. 
He may enjoy it who is circumcised. And so may he who is uncir- 
cumcised. He who is bound may have it, as well as he who is free. 

140 HENRY. 

In this respect, there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor un- 
circumcision, "barbarian nor Scythian, bond nor free. (Col. 3 : 2.)" 

Again, in the comment on Eph. 6:5: Servants, l)e obedient, etc., 
we read as follows, viz. : " The duty of servants is summed up in 
one word, which is obedience. These servants were generally slaves : 
civil servitude is not inconsistent with Christian liberty" 

V. 9. And ye masters, do the same thing unto them. " Observe," 
saith our commentator, " masters are under as strict obligations to 
discharge their duty to their servants, as servants are to be obedient 
and dutiful to them." 

The same doctrine occurs, in yet stronger terms, in the comment 
on 1 Tim. 6:1: Let as many servants as are under the yoke, count 
their own masters worthy of all honor, etc. Thus the author writes, 

" If Christianity finds servants under the yoke, it continues them 
under it, for the Gospel does not cancel the obligations any lie under, 
either by the law of nature or by mutual consent." " Suppose the 
master were a Christian and a believer, and the servant a believer 
too, would not that excuse him, because, in Christ there is neither 
bond nor free? No, by no means, for Jesus Christ did not come to 
dissolve the bond of civil relation, BUT TO STRENGTHEN IT." 

We now come to the epistle of St. Paul to Philemon. " The occa- 
sion of it," saith our commentator, "was this: Philemon, one of 
note, and probably a minister in the church of Colosse, a city of 
Phrygia, had a servant named Onesimus, who, having purloined his 
goods, ran away from him, and in his rambles came to Rome, where 
Paul was then a prisoner for the Gospel ; and providentially coming 
under his preaching there, was, by the blessing of God, converted by 
him : after which, he ministered awhile to the Apostle in bonds, and 
might have been further useful to him ; but understanding him to be 
another man's servant, he would not, without his consent, detain 
him, but sends him back with this letter commendatory. With what 
earnestness does he concern himself for this poor slave ! Being now, 
through his preaching, reconciled to God, he labors for reconciliation 
between him and his master." 

V. 16. Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother be- 
loved, etc. " That is," saith our commentator, u not merely or so 
much, but above a servant in a spiritual respect, to be owned as a 
brother in Christ, and to be lovtd as such, upon account of the holy 

HENRY. 141 

change wrought in him, and who will therefore le useful to fhee on 
letter principles and in a letter manner than "before." 

I shall add but one extract more, from this esteemed commentary, 
and that is on 1 Pet. 2 : 18 : Servants, le subject to your masters 
with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, lut also to the fro- 
ward. Thus saith our author, viz. : 

" The case of servants wanted an apostolical determination as well 
as that of subjects, for they imagined that their Christian liberty set 
them free from their unbelieving and cruel masters. To this the 
Apostle answers : Servants, le subject. By servants, he means those 
who were strictly such, whether hired, or bought with money, or 
taken in the wars, or born in the house, or those who served by con- 
tract for a limited time, as apprentices ; these he orders to be subject, 
to do their business faithfully and honestly, to conduct themselves, 
as inferiors ought, with reverence and affection, and to submit pa- 
tiently to hardships and inconveniences. This subjection they owe 
to their masters, who have a right to their service ; and that not only 
to the good and gentle, such as use them well, but even to the 
crooked and perverse, who are scarcely to be pleased at all." 

Here, then, we have a number of clear and distinct statements on 
the subject of slavery, as well under the Mosaic law as under the 
apostles, from the favorite commentary of our Presbyterian brethren, 
which not only occupied the first rank during the eighteenth century, 
but was republished in A.D. 1829, by the eminent Dr. Archibald 
Alexander, with the warmest commendations, as worthy of all re- 
gard and confidence. The Rev. Edward Bickersteth gave it his high 
praise. The judicious Charles Buck, author of the Theological Dic- 
tionary, said : " In my opinion, Henry takes the lead for common 
utility." And the pious William Romaine declared that there was 
" no comment on the Bible, either ancient or modern, in all respects 
equal to Mr. Henry's." Distinguished as it is by our Presbyterian 
brethren, and by the evangelical party in our own Church, I trust 
that you will be ready to adopt its doctrine as a safe guide, notwith- 
standing the temptation to favor the very contrary assumptions of 
ultra abolitionism. 

142 SCOTT. 


RIGHT REVEREND BROTHER : I proceed, in the order laid down, to 
the commentary of Rev. Thomas Scott, republished in Philadelphia 
in 1862, from the London edition of 1822. It belongs therefore, 
properly, to the present century, and has been, I presume, the most 
extensively patronized in our own country. The same ground must 
be again gone over, notwithstanding the repetition, because I have 
promised to make thorough work of my labor. And we shall see 
that as Scott wrote his commentary after the great abolition move- 
ment in England, commenced by Wilberforce and others, he shows 
the influence of the times very strongly, in many places, and was 
evidently disposed to sympathize with the popular sentiment, as far 
as possible, without too glaring a contradiction to the sacred text. 

Thus, on Gen. 9 : 24-7, containing the prophecy of Noah, this 
commentator saith that the posterity of Canaan "were no doubt 
principally though not exclusively intended." And he quotes from 
Bishop Newton : " The whole continent of Africa was peopled prin- 
cipally by the descendants of Ham, and for how many ages have the 
better parts of this country lain under the dominion of the Romans, 
and then of the Saracens, and now of the Turks. In what wicked- 
ness, ignorance, barbarity, slavery, misery, live most of the inhab- 
itants ! And of the poor negroes, how many hundreds every year 
are sold and bought, like beasts in the market, and conveyed from 
one quarter of the world to do the work of beasts in another." 
"This, however," saith Scott, u in no measure vindicates the covet- 
ous and barbarous oppression of those who thus enrich themselves 
with the products of their sweat and blood. God has not commanded 
us to enslave negroes, as he did Israel to extirpate the Canaanites, 
and therefore, without doubt, he will severely punish this cruel in- 
justice." He then proceeds to say that " true religion has hitherto 
flourished very little among Ham's descendants. They remain to 
this day almost entire strangers to Christianity, and their condition 
in every age has remarkably coincided with this prediction" 

SCOTT. 143 

Here we have the key-note of Rev. Thomas Scott's commentary 
on the subject. And yet, notwithstanding his evident bias towards 
abolitionism, he is obliged to acknowledge, first, that the* prophecy 
of Noah did not exclusively refer to Canaan's descendants. If not, 
then it must have included the other descendants of Ham. And sec- 
ondly, he admits that the condition of Harris descendants in every age, 
coincided remarkably with the prophecy. Thus we have a reluctant 
admission of the same substantial truth stated by the previous com- 

As to his statement about the negroes, and the judgment of God 
upon their oppressors, there is no question about the truth that the 
Almighty will puni-sh all oppression and injustice, whether towards 
slaves or hirelings, whether it be exhibited under the law of bondage, 
or by the power of Mammon, grinding the face of the poor. But it 
must be remembered that in all remarks like these, he is not per- 
forming the work of a commentator on the Bible, whose duty it is to 
explain the Word of God, and not to set his personal notions or 
feelings in opposition to it. I shall have occasion to pass the same 
censure on this author on other occasions, as I proceed. Meanwhile 
his admissions, on this very account, are the more valuable, because 
they are extorted from him, in spite of his prejudices, by the force 
of truth. 

The change of sentiment which had now taken place is plainly 
manifested in his note on Exodus 21. Thus he saith, that " Slavery 
was almost universal in the world, and though, like war, it always 
proceeded of evil, and was generally evil in itself, yet the wisdom of 
God deemed it better to regulate them to prohibit it. We should 
not, however, judge of the practice itself by these judicial regulations, 
but by the law of love. Slavery, like war, may in some cases in the 
present state of things be lawful ; for the crime which forfeits life no 
doubt forfeits liberty ; and it is not inconsistent even with the moral 
law for a criminal to be sold and treated as a slave, during a term of 
time proportioned to his offense. In most other cases, if not in all, 
it must be inconsistent with the law of love." 

And again, in his comment on verse 16 of the same chapter, we 
have another example. He that stealeth a man and selfyth him, or 
if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death. " The 
Jewish writers assert," saith he, " that it was not a capital crime to 
steal one of another nation, but only when the person stolen was a 

144 SCOTT. 

Hebrew. Yet this is by no means consistent with the text, which 
certainly implies that he who stole any one of the human species, in 
order to make a slave of him, should be punished with death." 

Now in the first of these extracts the commentator entirely disre- 
gards the fact that the law of love was laid down to the Jew as well 
as to the Christian, and yet in the Ten Commandments, which arc 
the moral law by eminence, we find the bondman and the bondmaid 
distinctly specified as property not to be coveted. In the second ex- 
tract he ignores the text in Deut. 24 : 7, where the same law respect- 
ing man-stealing is stated more fully, with the very limitation on 
which the Jewish doctors insist, viz. : 

" If a man le found stealing any of his brethren of the children 
of Israel, and maJceth merchandise of him or selleth him, then that 
man shall die." And when we come to his commentary on this text 
we read as follows, viz. : 

"Christianity has annihilated that distinction of nations, which, 
for typical and political reasons, was during a time established, and 
in this respect every man is now our brother, whatever be his nation, 
complexion, or creed. How, then, can the merchandise of men and 
women be carried on without transgressing this commandment, or 
abetting those who do ?" 

Here this author asserts a downright absurdity. Christianity has 
not annihilated the distinction of nations, nor was it intended, as all the 
previous commentaries plainly declare, to change the laws of earthly 
governments, or do away with the social relations established among 
mankind. The brotherhood which the Gospel sets forth is not carnal 
but spiritual. The kingdom of Christ is not of this world. True, in- 
deed, God hath made of one blood all the nations upon earth, and there- 
fore, by reason of our common parentage, all men may be called breth- 
ren in a certain sense. But Christian brotherhood is created by our 
adoption into the family of Christ, through faith and baptism, by which 
we are entitled to call God our Father in heaven. And nothing can 
be more false than the assertion that Christianity has made the hea- 
then savage any more our brother than he was the brother of the 
Jew under the Mosaic dispensation. 

Dr. Scott gives a notable comment also upon Lev. 25 : 44, etc. 
"Both thy bondmen and thy bondmaids which thou shalt have, shall 
be of the heathen that are round about you ; of them shall ye buy 
bondmen and bondmaids. Moreover of the children of the strangers 

SCOTT. 145 

that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families 
that are with you, and they shall be your possession. And ye shall 
take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit 
them for a possession ; they shall be your bondmen forever ; but over 
your brethren, the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over an- 
other with rigor." 

Now here is his commentary : " The Israelites were permitted to 
keep slaves of other nations ; perhaps in order to typify that none 
but the true Israel of God participate of that liberty with which Christ 
hath made his people free. But it was also allowed in order that the 
Gentiles might become acquamted with true religion : and when the 
Israelites copied the example of their pious progenitors, there can be 
no reasonable doubt that it was overruled to the eternal salvation of 
many souls. It does not, however, appear from the subsequent his- 
tory that the people availed themselves of this allowance to any great 
extent, for we read but little of slaves from among the Gentiles pos- 
sessed by them." 

It seems passing strange to me that this good man could see so 
clearly the reason of the Almighty in directing the slavery of the hea- 
then nations round about Judea, viz., in order that the Gentiles might 
become acquainted with true religion, so that it was overruled to the 
eternal salvation of many souls, and yet could not see that the slav- 
ery of the negro race admits of the very same justification. For cer- 
tain it is that they were by that means redeemed from the slavery of 
Guinea, where two thirds of the whole people are in that condition, 
and redeemed besides from the awful barbarism and idolatry described 
by Malte Brun. And it is equally certain that millions of their pos- 
terity have fouffd the way to eternal salvation, under the Southern 
institution, who must otherwise have lived and died in utter darkness 
and misery. 

But Dr. Scott was not in the mood to discern this application of 
his argument. Neither does he inform his readers that the Jubilee, 
of which he had been writing at great length, did not operate on the 
condition of the slaves, though that fact was stated plainly by the 
previous commentators. He fancies, however, that the Israelites did 
not avail themselves of the divine allowance to any great extent, al- 
though he knew that Abraham had three hundred and eighteen serv- 
ants born in his own house, which were but a portion of the whole. 
He knew, moreover, that when the Jews returned from the captivity 

146 SCOTT. 

in Babylon, the free population amounted to forty-two thousand three 
hundred and sixty, and the slaves to seven thousand three hundred 
and thirty-seven, (Ezra 2 : 64-5,) that is, about one slave to every 
six persons, women and children included. And he also knew that 
when David ordered Joab to number Israel, it was found that the 
men who were fit for war amounted to one million three hundred 
thousand, which, computing that these could not have been more 
than one fourth of the whole population, reckoning both sexes and 
all ages, would bring the sum total to five million two hundred thou- 
sand souls. Now, if we allow only the moderate proportion of one 
sixth, which was the actual number of the slaves when the Jews re- 
turned from Babylon, we shall have eight hundred and sixty-six thou- 
sand six hundred and sixty-six slaves as the aggregate in the reign 
of David. And as the tribe of Levi was not numbered, we can not 
seriously err if we compute the number of slaves to nearly a million. 
But our commentator saith that we read lut little concerning them. 
Do we read any more, or even as much, of the hired servants ? How 
plainly do we see here the strong bias of his mind, which could not 
allow him to deal fairly by the positive text of the sacred Scriptures 
when slavery was in question ! 

But we shall find this commentator more faithful in the Epistolary 
portions of the New Testament. Thus, Eph. 6:5: " Servants, le 
obedient to your masters" etc. " The Apostle," saith our commen- 
tator, " next exhorts servants who had embraced Christianity to be 
obedient to their masters, according to the flesh, that is, to whom 
they were subjected in temporal matters. In general, the servants 
at that time were slaves, the property of their masters, and were often 
treated with great severity, though seldom with jhat systematic 
cruelty which commonly attends slavery in these days." (Where did 
Dr. Scott find his authority for this statement ? The testimony of 
history is altogether against him.) " But the apostles were minis- 
ters of religion," continues he, " not politicians ; they had not that 
influence among rulers and legislators which would have been neces- 
sary for the abolition of slavery. Indeed, in that state of society as to 
other things, this would not have been expedient: God did not please 
miraculously to interpose in the case, and they were not required to 
exasperate their persecutors by expressly contending against the law- 
fulness of slavery. Yet both the law of love and the Gospel of grace 
tend to its abolition as far as they are known and regarded ; and the 

SCOTT. 147 

universal prevalence of Christianity must annihilate slavery, with 
many other evils, which, in the present state of things, can not wholly 
be avoided. In the wisdom of God the apostles were left to take such 
matters as they found them, and to teach servants and masters their 
respective duties, in the performance of which the evil would be 
mitigated, till in due time it should be extirpated by Christian legis- 

On 1 Tim. 6:1: Let as many servants as are under the yoke count 
their own masters worthy of all honor, etc. " The Apostle next," 
saith our commentator, " directed, that Christians, who were under 
the yoke of slavery, should quietly attend to the duties of their 
lowly situation, counting their own masters entitled to all the re- 
spect, fidelity, and obedience, which that superior relation demanded ; 
and not supposing that their religious knowledge, privileges, or lib- 
erty, gave them a right to despise their heathen masters, to speak or 
act disrespectfully to them, to disobey their lawful commands, or to 
expose their faults to their neighbors. And such of them as enjoyed 
the privilege of believing masters, ought by no means to despise 
them, or withhold from them due respect and obedience, because 
they were brethren in Christ, and so upon a level in respect of re- 
ligious privileges ; but rather do them service, with double diligence 
and cheerfulness, because of their faith in Christ, and their interest 
in his love, as partakers of the inestimable benefit of his salvation. 
This shows that Christian masters were not required to set their 
slaves at liberty, though they were instructed to behave towards 
them in such a manner as would greatly lessen and nearly annihilate 
the evils of slavery. It would have excited much confusion, awak- 
ened the jealousy of the civil powers, and greatly retarded the prog- 
ress of Christianity, had the liberation of slaves by their converts 
been expressly required by the Apostles : [though the principles of 
both the law and the Gospel, when carried to their consequences, 
will infallibly abolish slavery.] These things Timothy was directed 
to teach and enforce as matters of the greatest importance, and if 
any persons taught otherwise, and consented not to such salutary 
words, which were indeed the words of Christ * speaking by him,' 
and an essential part of the doctrine according to godliness, he must 
be considered as a self-conceited ignorant man, who, being puffed up 
with an opinion of his own abilities, was ambitious of distinction and 

148 SCOTT. 

applause, though entirely unacquainted with the real nature and 
tendency of the Gospel." 

44 It is not absolutely certain," continues Dr. Scott, " to what set 
of men the Apostle referred ; but as many of the Jews deemed it 
unlawful to submit to heathen governors, it is probable some of the 
Judaizing teachers inculcated that the worshipers of God ought not 
to obey heathen masters, and so paid their court to servants, by 
persuading them that they ought to assert their liberty. But there 
might be others also who disregarded and despised those practical 
instructions, while their attention was taken up with curious and 
nice speculations and distinctions. Such persons, however, were to 
be considered as doting or talking wildly, like sick and delirious per- 
sons, about hard questions and disputes of words, names, forms, or 
notions, which had no connection with the power of godliness. In- 
deed, these questions and disputes tended to excite envy and compe- 
tition between one and another, angry contests for victory and 
preeminence, mutual reviling and calumnies, injurious suspicions and 
jealousies, and absurd, obstinate, and violent controversies, betwixt 
men of corrupt and carnal minds, who were destitute of the real 
knowledge of the truth and its sanctifying efficacy, and who only 
sought their own secular advantage ; supposing religion to be valu- 
able, in proportion as it tended to enrich them, as if gain and god- 
liness had been but two names for the same thing. Thus they 
wanted to persuade the Christian servants that the recovery of their 
liberty was to be considered as a Christian privilege of great value, 
which they ought to claim, whatever the consequence might be. 
From such men, Timothy was exhorted to withdraw himself, and 
neither have acquaintance with them, nor spend his time in disputing 
with them." 

Now so far as these extracts are commentaries, they are just and 
true, agreeing with the previous authors whose language I have 
quoted. The fault is that Dr. Scott interlards them with what is not 
a commentary on Scripture, but his own notions about the reasons 
which influenced the divine mind to have nothing said which could 
excite commotion, provoke the civil government, or hinder the prog- 
ress of the Gospel. But while I object to the error of confounding 
the notions of Dr. Scott with the real authority of an inspired Apostle, 
I am willing to accept them so far as this, viz. : that they apply with 
all their force to the attacks of ultra-abolitionism upon the Constitu- 

SCOTT. 149 

tion and the laws of the Union at the present day. It is sufficient 
for my purpose, however, to have the testimony of this commentator 
to the fact, that Christian masters were not required to emancipate 
their slaves ly the Gospel, as St. Paul expounded it. Of course, 
the Apostle could not have supposed that slaveholding was a sin, 
and I contend that until it pleases God to send us a new revelation, 
by inspired men, able, like the Apostles, to prove their divine com- 
mission by miracles, the Church is solemnly bound to set forth the 
same doctrine that St. Paul commanded Timothy to teach ; and if 
she dares to authorize the contrary doctrine, she becomes, so far, an 
apostate, and a rebel against the Word of the Almighty. 

In the preface to the Epistle to Philemon, Dr. Scott pursues the 
same track with the other commentators, and in his note on verses 
12-16, he saith as follows : 

" Onesimus was Philemon's legal property, and St. Paul had re- 
quired and prevailed with Onesimus to return to him, having made 
sufficient trial of his sincerity ; and he requested Philemon to receive 
him with the same kindness as he would the aged Apostle's own son 
according to the flesh, being equally dear to him as his spiritual child. 
He would gladly have kept him at Rome, to minister to him in his 
confinement ; but he would not do any thing of this kind without 
his master's consent, lest he should seem to extort the benefit, and 
Philemon should appear to act from * necessity,' rather than ' from a 
willing mind.' He had, indeed, hopes of deriving benefit from Ones- 
imus's faithful service, at some future period, by Philemon's free 
consent, yet he was not sure that this was the Lord's purpose re- 
specting him, for perhaps he permitted him to leave his master for a 
season in so improper a manner, in order that, being converted, he 
might be received on his return with such affection, and might abide 
with Philemon with such faithfulness and diligence, that they should 
choose to live together the rest of their lives, as fellow-heirs of eter- 
nal felicity. In this case he knew that Philemon would no longer 
consider Onesimus merely as a slave, but view him as ' above a slave, 
even as a brother beloved.' This he was become to Paul in an espe- 
cial manner, who had before been entirely a stranger to him : how 
much more, then, might it be supposed that he would be endeared 
to Philemon, when he became well acquainted with his excellency, 
seeing he would be near to him, both in the flesh, as one of his 


domestics, and in the Lord, being one with him in Christ, as a be- 
liever 1" 

Now, my Right Reverend Brother, while I can not close my eyes 
to the manifest bias in favor of abolition which is so apparent in many 
parts of Scott's Commentary, I have shown that he does not differ, 
substantially, from any of the rest He tells us indeed, frequently, 
that the law of love will eventually annihilate slavery. But this law 
of love was proclaimed by Moses, and our Lord recognizes the fact, 
(Luke 10 : 26-7) when He said to one of his tempters : " What is writ- 
ten in the law ? how readest thou ?" And he answering said : " Thou 
shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, 
and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind, and thy neighbor 
as thyself." The Gospel added nothing to this law of love, because 
any enlargement of it was impossible. But He alone fulfilled it to 
perfection, and gave us a glorious example, and a new motive for oui 
obedience, according to the declaration of the Apostle, (1 John 
3:16:) " Hereby we perceive the love of God, because he laid down 
his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren." 
If, then, the law of love was set forth by the Almighty from the be- 
ginning, and the sanction of slavery was also given, both under the 
law and under the Gospel, how shall it be believed that there is any 
thing in the relation of master and slave which is inconsistent with 

For what is this relation ? That one man shall belong to another, 
and serve him as his master. Is this hostile to love ? Suppose the 
slave to be free, and he would be a hireling to his employer. Does 
that relation secure love ? Is it not manifest that my love for any 
thing becomes increased by making it belong to me, since now it is a 
part of myself, and my attachment to it is insured by that very rea- 
son ? 

Why do I love my children better than all others ? Simply be- 
cause they belong to me. Why do I love my wife better than all 
other women ? Because she belongs to me. Why do I love my house 
better than any other habitation ? Because it belongs to me. So far 
is ownership from preventing love, that it secures and increases love 
beyond any other principle of human action. And if so, why should 
not the same law operate in the relation of servitude ? For while 
the servant is only my hireling, and may depart from me at any mo- 
ment, I am not disposed to look upon him with any stronger affec- 


tion than I have for others. But let him be my own, and I can not 
help regarding him with a new sense of attachment. My sympathy, 
my responsibility, my solicitude, are all engaged as they could not be 
without the bond that now unites us, and 1 have a love for him, of 
necessity, which I could not have had before. 

And therefore it is that the highest love in the universe, the love of 
Christ, is manifested in the language of servitude. "Let this mind 
be in you," saith the Apostle, (Phil. 2 : 5-8) "which was also in 
Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery 
to be equal with God, but made himself of no reputation, and took 
upon him the form of a servant," (JJ-OQ^TJV 6dv2,ov, literally the form 
of a slave,) " and was made in the likeness of men, and being found 
in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto 
death, even the death of the Cross." 

That principle runs throughout His whole course. As God, He 
was the Lord of life and glory, receiving the worship and homage of 
all that approached Him. But as man, He was the servant of all, at- 
tending to every call for His labors, Himself so poor that He had not 
where to lay His head, and not shrinking from reproaches, blows, and 
scourgings, the treatment too often given to slaves. He washed His 
disciples' feet, the office performed by slaves. He died upon the Cross, 
the punishment of the slave according to the Roman law. And after 
He had thus fulfilled His wondrous work, "in the form of a slave," 
and risen to His throne of glory, He presents the same principle to 
us. "Ye are not your own," saith St. Paul, (1 Cor. 6 : 19-20,) "for 
ye are bought with a price." And "ye know," saith St. Peter, (1 Pet. 
1 : 18,) " that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver 
and gold ; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without 
blemish and without spot." And hence the law of love is inseparable 
from the law of servitude, and the service of Christ is our only " per- 
fect freedom." 

The relations of this mortal life are all regarded in the Bible as 
typical of our relations to God, and to the divine Redeemer. Thus 
the matrimonial relation is a type of the union between Christ and 
the Church, and hence, as the Church is obedient to Christ, so, saith 
the Apostle, let the wife be to her husband. Thus the filial relation 
is a type of our relation, as the children of God, to our Father in 
heaven. Thus, too, the relation of bond-servants, or slaves, is the 


type of our relation to our glorious Lord and Master. And the prin- 
ciple of love runs throughout the whole. 

It is no answer to this, that slaves are liable to be treated with 
cruelty or barbarity. So are men, in all the relations of society. 
Such treatment is a sin, because it is in direct contrariety to the com- 
mands of God, who lays down the plainest rules upon the duties of 
husbands, fathers, and masters, as well as those which belong to 
wives, and children, and servants or slaves. The relation itself is 
not to be censured, because the treatment may be wrong. And there- 
fore the Bible says nothing about abolishing slavery, but only regu~ 
late* it according to the will of God. Therefore, too, we have seen 
that the Church never made any effort to abolish it. Therefore we 
shall find, in examining the subject, that the causes which led to its 
extinction in Europe were secular, and not religious, arising from 
changes gradually taking place amongst each particular people. But 
this must be reserved for another place, and I shall now proceed to 
our next commentary. 

CLARKE. 153 


RIGHT REVEREND BROTHER : The name of Adam Clarke is of high 
reputation amongst our Methodist brethren, and his influence has 
doubtless been very great in producing the controversy about the 
slave question which ended in the separation, North and South, of 
that very numerous and powerful denomination. Of course, as his 
commentary appeared after the English Parliament had emancipated 
the slaves in Jamaica, he belongs to the modern school of abolitionists. 
Yet we shall find that, notwithstanding his sweeping denunciation, 
he does not, as a commentator, give any authority for the ultra doc- 
trine to which I stand opposed. 

Thus, on Gen. 9 : 22- 4, And Ham, the father of Canaan, etc., he 
writes as follows : " Ham, and very probably, his son Canaan, had 
treated their father on this occasion with contempt or reprehensible 
levity. Had Noah not been innocent, as my exposition supposes 
him, God would not have endowed him with the spirit of prophecy." 

This, by the way, is stated too strongly, for God endowed Balaam 
with the spirit of prophecy, notwithstanding he was a wicked man, 
and Caiaphas prophesied, though he was the enemy of our Saviour. 
The power of prophecy is not a personal privilege to the man, but a 
gift to the Church, for whose sake it is delivered. 

" The conduct of Shem and Japheth," continues Dr. Clarke, " was 
such as became pious and affectionate children, who appear to have 
been in the habit of treating their father with decency, reverence, 
and obedient respect. On the one, the spirit of prophecy (not the 
incensed father) pronounces a curse : on the others, the same spirit 
(not parental tenderness) pronounces a blessing. These things 
would have been just as they afterward occurred, had Noah never 
spoken. God had wise and powerful reasons to induce him to sen 
tence the one to perpetual servitude, and to allot to the others prosper* 
ity and dominion. Besides, the curse pronounced on Canaan neither 
fell immediately upon himself nor on his worthless father, but upon 


the Canaanites, and from the history we have of this people, in Lev. 
18 : 20, and Deut. 9:4, 12 : 31, we may ask, could the curse of God 
fall more deservedly on any people than on these ? Their profligacy 
was great, but it was not the effect of the curse, but being foreseen 
by the Lord, the curse was the effect of their conduct But even 
this curse does not exclude them from the possibility of obtaining 
salvation : it extends not to the soul and to eternity, but merely to 
their bodies and to time. How many, even of these, repented, we 
can not tell." 

I would only remark here : First. That Dr. Clarke clearly regards 
perpetual servitude as the decree of God upon the Canaanites ; and, 
secondly, that he confines the operation of this decree to their bodies, 
with perfect propriety. It may be well, however, now to consider 
whether the execution of this decree does not of necessity require 
the continuance of the race of Canaan. For the land of Canaan was 
to be given to Israel, and the inhabitants thereof included seven 
nation*, all of whom were commanded to be cut off'; not enslaved, 
but exterminated. If there were no Canaanites anywhere else but 
in Canaan, how could the decree of extermination and the decree of 
perpetual servitude be made to agree together ? 

Now we know that the Canaanites were not exterminated com- 
pletely, even in Canaan ; and we find them still existing in our Sav- 
iour's days, because " a woman of Canaan" came from the coasts 
of Tyre and Sidon, to ask relief for her daughter at the hand of our 
Lord, (Matt. 15 : 22.) Moreover, we read, that "Canaan begat Sidon 
and Heth, and the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgasite, 
and the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite, and the Arvadite, and 
the Zemarite, and the Hamathite ; and afterward were the families 
of the Canaanites spread abroad," (Gen. 10 : 15-18.) Dr. Clarke, in 
his note on this passage, saith, that the Jebusite, Amorite, etc., " are 
well known as being the ancient inhabitants of Canaan, expelled by 
the children of Israel." And this, to a considerable extent, must 
have been the case. A large number were slain in the wars of Is- 
rael. Another probably large number continued to dwell in the 
land, and could not be driven out, because the Israelites were faith- 
less and disobedient. But it is obvious that when they found it im- 
possible to resist the victorious sword of Joshua, a considerable 
proportion of the wealthier classes, who were able to emigrate, would 
fly from the conqueror, and seek a refuge in other lands. 


Here, then, we have to inquire, where did they go ? We have 
eleven names of the heads of tribes set forth as the posterity of Ca- 
naan in Genesis 10: 15-18, of whom only seven were involved in the 
invasion of the Israelites. What became of the other four? We 
have, besides, the emigrating portion of those seven nations to place 
somewhere. We have also to allow room for the families of the 
Canaanites which, long before the investment of Canaan, are said to 
have been "spread abroad" We can trace some of the Canaanites 
to Tyre and Sidon, Phoenicia and Carthage, but there can not be any 
reasonable doubt that the other nations of the race occupied a far 
more extensive range. And as we know nothing about the locality 
in which these families of the Canaanites were " spread abroad," 
nor where a portion of the seven nations " expelled " from Canaan 
betook themselves, what is to prevent our supposing that they settled 
in various parts of Ethiopia and Guinea, and that the descendants of 
Canaan are there to this day ? 

The argument for this conclusion seems to my mind unanswerable. 
For, in the first place, Africa is acknowledged by all to be the land 
of Ham, peopled by his posterity. 2d. The progeny of Canaan, 
which would seem, from the names recorded in Gen. 10, to have 
been far more numerous than that of his other sons, would naturally 
be found on the same continent with their brethren of the same 
race, with whom, in language, in idolatry, and in general licentious- 
ness, they must have been most nearly associated. 3d. We can find 
no traces elsewhere of the posterity of four of these sons of Canaan, 
which were not concerned in the wars of Israel. And, 4th, the ac- 
count given by Malte Brun, and all other writers, concerning the 
present state of Guinea, agrees with the Scriptural statement of the 
immorality and corruption of the Canaanites. It is true, indeed, 
that the portion of those which had settled in the promised land 
appear to have been farther advanced in the arts than the people of 
Dahomey. But this only proves that idolatry and wickedness tend 
to barbarism. We know that our continent was peopled once by a 
race superior to the Indians. We know that vast portions of Asia 
and Africa were more civilized two thousand years ago than they are 
at this day. The result, on the whole, would therefore seem most 
probable, that the African race at the South are a portion of the 
posterity of Ham, through the line of Canaan. And hence, +' 
most limited interpretation of Noah's prophecy would agree W'' 
historical facts of their degradation and their slavery. 

156 CLARKE. 

Dr. Clarke, in his note on Gen. 9 : 25, Cursed le Canaan, recog- 
nizes the same fact which is stated by Bishop Newton and others, 
viz., that "the Arabic version has Ham, the father of Canaan;" but 
" this," saith he, " is acknowledged by none of the other versions, 
and seems to be merely a gloss." It has not been so regarded, as 
we have seen, by others, but I care nothing about the choice between 
the versions, as either will suffice to vindicate the consistency of the 
Deity, when properly applied, and save us from the common mistake 
of supposing that the Lord decreed the servitude of the very same 
people at one time, whom he ordered to be exterminated at another. 
As soon as we understand that the portion of the Canaanites who 
were to be exterminated by Israel was only a part of the whole, this 
difficulty vanishes. The subject, however, will be more fully con- 
sidered in a subsequent chapter. 

Our commentator gives a clearer statement on the case of Ha gar, 
Gen. 16:2, than some others. " It must not be forgotten," saith he, 
" that female slaves constituted a part of the private patrimony or 
possession of a wife ; and that she had a right, according to the 
usage of those times, to dispose of them as she pleased. The 
slave being the absolute property of the mistress, not only her person, 
but the fruits of her labor, with all her children, were her owner's 
property also. The children, therefore, that were born of the slave 
were considered as the children of the mistress. It was on this 
ground that Sarai gave her maid to Abrara." 

The text in Exodus, ch. 21, T. 16, He that stealeth a man, etc., 
affords an example of Dr. Clarke's bias towards modern ultra-aboli- 
tionism. " By this law," saith he, " every man-stealer, and every 
receiver of the stolen person, should lose his life ; no matter whether 
the latter stole the man himself, or gave money to a slave-captain, or 
negro-dealer, to steal it for him." 

In this he manifests a great degree of disingenuousness, because he 
passes by, in total silence, the language in Deuteronomy 24 : 7, 
where the same law is laid down in more precise terms, limiting the 
offense to the stealing of an Israelite, to make merchandise of him. 
The maxim of all courts of justice is, that laws in pari materia i.e., 
on the same subject must be construed together, but Dr. Clarke 
disregards this, and gives a false construction to the briefer text, 
while he ignores the longer and more complete one. Moreover, he 
contradicts the exposition of the Jewish doctors, who have the best 
right to be heard, in the interpretation of their own law, 

CLAEKE. 157 

On Lev. 25, where the express direction is given by the Almighty 
that the Israelites should buy bondmen and bondmaids of the heathen, 
who should serve them and their children forever, Dr. Clarke is en- 
tirely silent. He also passes over, without remark, the fact that the 
Jubilee only freed the Jewish servant, and had no application to the 
slaves. In both of these I should consider him unfaithful to his duty 
as a commentator, unless he supposed that the texts were so plain as 
to make comment quite unnecessary. 

But he gives a correct note on the text, Deut. 23 : 15, Thou shalt 
not deliver unto his master the servant which is escaped from his mas- 
ter unto thee a text which the ultra-abolitionist is so fond of using 
as a warrant for refusing to obey the Constitution and the Fugitive 
Slave law. On this, however, Dr. Clarke is very clear : " That is," 
saith he, "a servant who left an idolatrous master, that he might join 
himself to God and to his people. In any other case it would have 
been injustice to have harbored the runaway." A most true and 
righteous exposition ! 

And in his comments on the leading texts of the New Testament, 
Dr. Clarke is usually fair, with one very marked exception. Thus, 
on 1 Cor. 7 : 21, "Art ihou called, being a servant f Care not for it" 
etc., he gives the following note, viz. : "Art thou converted to Christ, 
while thou art a slave ? the property of another person and bought 
with his money? Care not for it : this will not injure thy Christian 
condition ; but if thou canst obtain thy liberty, use it rather : prefer 
this state for the sake of freedom, and the temporal advantages con- 
nected with it." 

V. 22. For lie that is called, etc. " The man who, being a slave, 
is converted to the Christian faith, is the Lord's freeman ; his condi- 
tion as a slave does not vitiate any of the privileges to which he is 
entitled as a Christian ; on the other hand, all freemen who receive 
the grace of Christ, must consider themselves the slaves of the Lord, 
i. e., his real property, to be employed and disposed of according to 
his godly wisdom, who, notwithstanding their state of subjection, will 
find the service of their Master to be perfect freedom." 

V. 23. Ye are bought with a price. " As truly as your bodies have 
become the property of your master, in consequence of his paying 
down a price for you, so surely you are now the Lord's property, in 
consequence of your being purchased by the blood of Christ." 

" Some render this verse interrogatively : Are ye bought with a price 

158 CLARKE. 

from your Slavery ? Do not again become slaves of men. Never sell 
yourselves; prefer and retain your liberty, now that ye have acquir- 
ed it." 

" In these verses the Apostle shows that the Christian religion does 
not abolish our civil connections in reference to them, where it finds 
us, there it leaves us. In whatever relation we stood before our em- 
bracing Christianity, there we stand still : our secular condition being 
no further changed, than as it may be affected by the amelioration of 
our moral character." 

This is sound doctrine, in agreement with Scripture and with rea- 
son. But in his comment on the next text which I have quoted, his 
ultra-abolitionism blazes forth in a sentence which stands at the head 
of all others for its virulence ; plainly proving how the spirit of fan- 
aticism may carry away the best men into the most extravagant in- 
consistency. Thus it reads: 

Eph. 6:5: Servants be obedient. " Though (JouAoj- frequently sig- 
nifies a slave or bondman, yet it often implies a servant in general, or 
any one bound to another, either for a limited term or for life. Even 
a slave, if a Christian, was bound to serve him faithfully, by whose 
money he was bought, however illegal the traffic may be considered. 
In heathen countries slavery was in some sort excusable. AMONG CHRIST- 

And yet, in his comment on the following verses, the same Dr. 
Clarke writes these words, viz. : 

V. V: With good will. "Her* ewoiaf, with cheerfulness; do 
not take up your service as a cross, or bear it as a burden ; but take 
it as coming in the order of God's Providence, and a thing that is 
pleasing to him /" 

I shall only observe, here, that the proper duty of a commentator 
on the Bible is to give the meaning of the text. So far as Dr. Clarke 
does this, we find him generally correct in the New Testament. But 
the declaration about slavery being an enormity and a crime among 
Christians has no relation whatever to the text of the Apostle. It is 
simply the feeling of Dr. Adam Clarke, under the stimulus of the 
new-born spirit of English abolitionism. And therefore, although he 
has placed it in his Commentary, it is entirely destitute of the char- 
acter which every real commentary should possess. Instead of ex- 
plaining the Scripture, it actually opposes it, making God to sanction 

CLARKE. 159 

for his chosen Israel, and afterwards for His Church of Christ, under 
the government of his inspired Apostles, a crime and an enormity 
for which perdition itself has scarcely an adequate punishment ! To 
my mind, such language is nothing better than blasphemy, and I 
should consider it an enormity and a crime to indorse it. It is found, 
indeed, in a commentary, just as a toad has sometimes been found in 
a rock. Yet no one could be so foolish as to suppose that between 
the toad and the rock there was any natural affinity. But as the 
subject will recur again, I need not enlarge upon it now, and shall 
proceed to the remaining extracts from this author. 

1 Tim. 6:1: Let as many servants as are under the yolce, etc. 
"The word tfou/lof here," saith Dr. Clarke, "means slaves converted 
to the Christian faith, and the fryov or yoke, is the state of slavery. 
Even these, in such circumstances, and under such domination, are 
commanded to treat their masters with all honor and respect, that the 
name of God, by which they were called, and the doctrine of God, 
Christianity, which they had professed, might not be blasphemed, 
might not be evil spoken of, in consequence of their improper con- 

FROM GOD'S SPIRIT. The civil state in which man was before his con- 
version is not altered by that conversion, nor does the grace of God 
absolve him from any claims which either the state or his neighbor 
may have upon him. All these outward things continue unaltered." 
Here is sound doctrine again, entirely free from abolitionism. 

Lastly, in his note on the Epistle to Philemon, (v. 12 : Whom 1 
have sent again,} Dr. Clarke gives this correct comment : " The Christ- 
ian religion," saith he, "never cancels any civil relations : a slave, on 
being converted, and becoming a free man of Christ, has no right to 
claim, on that ground, emancipation from the service of his master. 
JUSTICE, therefore, required St. Paul to send back Onesimus to his 
master, and CONSCIENCE obliged Onesimus to agree in the propriety of 
the measure." 

I have now given a full exhibition of the course pursued by this 
eminent Methodist commentator. In the main, he is sound and cor- 
rect. I shall leave it to you or any other advocate to reconcile his 
occasional inconsistency, which I acknowledge to be a task quite be- 
yond my power. There is still, however, one of those works belong- 
ing to the nineteenth century, which I have placed upon my list, and 
to that I shall next invite your attention. 



RIGHT REVEREND BROTHER : The Comprehensive Commentary which 
professes to contain nearly all that is valuable in Henry, Scott, and 
Doddridge, may be considered as the book of the Orthodox Congre- 
gationalists, and will not require much space to be given to it, because 
I have already quoted largely from Henry and Scott, and shall by and 
by quote from Doddridge, all of whom will speak for themselves. A 
respectful attention, however, is due to this work, and I shall make 
some extracts from it accordingly. 

Lev. 25 : 39-55. The Israelites "might purchase bondmen," 
saith this commentary, " of the heathen nations round about them, 
(except of the seven nations to be destroyed,) and might claim a do- 
minion over them, and entail them on their families, as an inheritance, 
for the year of Jubilee should give no discharge to them. Thus ne- 
groes only are used as slaves, how much to the credit of Christianity 
I shall not say." 

Exod. 21 : 16. " Here is a law," saith the commentator, " against 
man-stealing. He that steals a man, woman, or child, with a design 
to sell them to the Gentiles, (for no Israelite would buy them,) was 
adjudged to death by this statute." This writer is in better agree- 
ment with the other law on the same subject, in Deut. 24 : 7, than 
either Scott or Clarke, and his note on this last is not unfair, as it 
quotes the words of Henry, who belonged to the eighteenth century. 

On Deut. 23 : 15 : Thou shalt not deliver unto his master the serv- 
ant which is escaped from his master unto thee, the interpretation is 
taken from Henry and Scott, and both of these are substantially in 
accordance with my own in the Bible View of Slavery, but entirely 
inconsistent with the misapprehension of the ultra-abolitionist, who 
sets it against the other laws of God, as well as against the Constitu- 
tion of his country. 

But in 1 Cor. V : 21, Art thou called leing a servant, care not for 
it, lut if thou mayest ~be made free, use it rather; this commentary 


not only gives the notes of Henry and Scott, but also an original one 
from Dr. Jenks, which is worth transcribing. 

" The sense," saith he, " is not clear. Chrysostom and all the old 
comtr-s. (commentators) understand, 4 You need care so little, that 
even if you can gain your freedom, prefer your servitude as a greater 
trial of Christian patience !' (So a religion of despotism counsels, 
contrary to the precept, * Do not evil that good may come,' and to the 
prayer, * Lead us not into temptation.' By what right can any man 
imbrute God's image, which Christ atoned for, to a mindless, will-less, 
soulless, rightless chattel ! Yet) so Camer, Schmidt, Sparck, Estius, 
De Dieu, and the Syr. And this sense, they think, is confirmed by 
the following consolatory words, ' For he,' etc. It is also ably de- 
fended by De Dieu and Wolf. But there is a certain harshness about 
it to which necessity alone would reconcile me. What is detrimental 
to human happiness can not be promotive of virtue. The true intent 
seems that of Beza, Grot., Ham., and most recent comtrs. 4 Do not 
feel a too great trouble on that account, as if it could materially affect 
your acceptance with God, and as if that were a condition unworthy 
of a Christian.' ' Grace knows no distinctions of freedom or servitude, 
therefore bear it patiently.' Grotius adds : 4 And above all, let it not 
drive you to seek your freedom by unjustifiable means.' And he 
remarks that a misunderstanding of the nature of Christian liberty 
had made many Christian slaves not only murmur at their situation, 
but seek to throw off all bondage. just yet merciful God ! en- 
lighten the slave and his master in these United States, at once and 
always to do Thy will !" 

Now this is a fair specimen of the rhetoric which has become so 
common, of late years, on the subject of slavery, taking it for granted 
that the slave must be made a brute, without mind, soul, will, or right, 
a mere chattel; although these gentlemen must know that among the 
ancients the slaves were often highly educated to be instructors of 
youth, that Esop was a slave, and Terence was a slave, and Epictetus 
was a slave, while amongst the slave population of the South, enough 
of their negroes have been taught and emancipated to plant the new 
State of Liberia, and of those who still remain with their masters, 
nearly five hundred thousand are reported as members of Christian 
societies, in good standing. These facts being perfectly notorious, 
one can hardly read such a display of our commentator's anti-slavery 
prejudice without desiring that he might study the Ninth Command- 


ment, " Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor," with 
a wholesome regard to personal application. 

On the text quoted from Eph. 6 : 5-9, Servants, be obedient to your 
masters, etc., the notes of Henry and Scott are repeated in this com- 
mentary, as I have already given them, and so are they likewise in 
the corresponding passage, Col. 3 : 22 : Servants, obey in all things 
your masters according to the flesh, etc. 

And in that strong and most important precept delivered by St. 
Paul to the first bishop of Ephesus, 1 Tim. 6 : 1-5, Let as many sec- 
ants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all 
honor, etc., Henry and Scott are again employed in the Comprehen- 
sive Commentary. And the same authors meet us again, in the pre- 
face and notes to the Epistle to Philemon. Thus, in the preface we 
read as follows : " Philemon, one of note, and probably a minister in 
the Church of Colosse, had a servant named Onesimus, who, having 
purloined his goods, ran away from him and came to Rome, where 
Paul was then a prisoner for the Gospel, and providentially coming 
under his preaching there, was, by the blessing of God, converted by 
him ; after which he ministered awhile to the Apostle in bonds, and 
might have been further useful to him ; but he, understanding him to 
be another man's servant, would not, without his consent, detain him, 
but sends him back with this letter commendatory, wherein he earn- 
estly sues for his pardon and kind reception." 

V. 16. Not now as a servant, " that is," saith this commentary, 
" not merely or so much, but above a servant, in a spiritual respect, 
a brother beloved, one to be owned as a brother in Christ," etc. 

"But why such concern and earnestness for a servant, a slave, and 
such a one as had misbehaved ? Answer. Onesimus being now peni- 
tent, it was doubtless to enconrage him, and to support him in return- 
ing to his master." 

V. 18. Put that on my account. " Paul here engages for satisfac- 
tion. Whence observe, first, The communion of saints does not de- 
stroy distinction of property. Onesimus, now converted and become 
a brother beloved, is yet Philemon's servant still, and indebted to him 
for wrongs he had done, and not to be discharged but by free and 
voluntary remission," etc. 

Here, my Right Reverend Brother, I shall close for the present' 
my extracts from the commentators of the nineteenth century, having 
proved that notwithstanding their occasional exhibitions of anti-slav- 


ery prejudice, yet their explanations of the Bible are usually the same 
with the rest, the exceptions being very few, and those, as I shall 
show by and by, being of no importance to the general argument. 
Dr. Clarke rages most wildly indeed in one place against the institu- 
tion of slavery, and Dr. Scott is very zealous for the abolition of the 
slave-trade, in which we all agree. But none of them can be found 
denying the main facts, or imputing it as a sin in any Christian man 
to own a slave, provided it be in accordance with the law of the land, 
and the slave be treated with kindness and with justice, in obedience 
to the precepts of the Gospel. None of them denounces the right of 
property in the master, nor the duty of obedience and fidelity on the 
part of the slave. None of them maintains the doctrine of the ultra- 
abolitionist, that the slave ought to run away, and that if his master 
should reclaim him, he may be justified in forcible resistance even 
unto death, in the pursuit of his liberty. 

I shall now, however, revert to the commentators of the eighteenth 
century, by whom I maintained that the original doctrine of the 
Church was still preserved in its primitive integrity ; and after I shall 
have gone through this list, the way will be clear for the remaining 
portions of my undertaking. 

164 GILL. 

CHAPTER XX. . -.? 

RIGHT REVEREND BROTHER: The Exposition of the Old and New 
Testaments, by Dr. Gill, is one of the most learned and highly es- 
teemed works of modern times, in the judgment of very many, and 
holds the first rank in the Baptist denomination. I shall next take 
up this, and quote its authority on the texts in question. 

On the prophecy of Noah, Gen. 9 : 22, our commentator saith : 
" It may seem strange that Canaan should be cursed, and not Ham t 
who seems to be the only transgressor by what is said in the context ; 
hence one copy of the Septuagint, as Ainsworth observes, reads Ham, 
and the Arabic writers, the father of Canaan, and so, as Aben Ezra, 
relates, Saadiah Gaon supplies it, and the same supplement is made 
by others. But as loth were guilty, and Canaan particularly was 
first in the transgression, it seems most wise and just that he should 
be expressly named, since hereby Ham is not excluded from a share 
in the punishment of the crime he had a concern in, being punished 
in his son Canaan only, and not any of the other sons of Ham, 
were guilty : he, and not Ham by name, is cursed, lest it should be 
thought that the curse would fall on Ham and all his posterity, wher- 
as the curse descends on him, and very justly proceeds in the line 
of Canaan the father of the accursed race of the Canaanites, whom 
God abhorred, and for their wickedness, was about to drive out of 
their land, and give it to his people for an inheritance," etc. 

According to this learned author, therefore, the curse descended on 
Ham, and proceeds in the line of Canaan. And in his notes upon 
the line of Canaan, whose children are named in the fifteenth verse, 
he saith that as the families of the Canaanites increased, "they 
spread themselves farther every way," although his elaborate attempt 
to trace their course, like all similar efforts, amounts to nothing, be- 
cause there is no history to guide us, beyond the outline given by 
Scripture, and all that can be done must be limited to probable con- 

GILL. 165 

With respect to Abraham's servants, Gen. 14 : 14, Dr. Gill saith 
that they were " lorn in his own house, of his servants, and so were 
his property, and at his disposal and command ; their number was 
three hundred and eighteen a large number for servants, which 
showed how great a man Abraham was, what possessions he must 
have to employ so many," etc. 

On Gen. 16 : Si, he saith, that Hagar was "the secondary wife or 
concubine " of Abraham. That this did not change her condition as 
a slave is plain, because, when she ran away, " she acknowledged Sarai 
to be her mistress," and the angel of the Lord commands her accord- 
ingly, " Return to thy mistress and submit thyself to her hands ; go 
back to her, acknowledge thy fault, do her work, bear her corrections 
and chastisements, and suffer thyself to ~be afflicted by her, as the 
word may be rendered ; take all patiently from her, which will be 
much more to thy profit and advantage than to pursue the course 
thou art in." 

In his notes on Gen. IT : 12, where circumcision is commanded for 
those who were lorn in the house, or lought with money of any 
stranger, not being of Abraham's seed, Dr. Gill quotes from Maimon- 
ides the following rules: "A servant born in the power of an 
Israelite, and another that is taken from heathens, the master is 
bound to circumcise them, but he that is born in the house is circum- 
cised the eighth day, and he that is bought with money is circum- 
cised on the day that he is received ; even if he received him on the 
day he is born, he is circumcised on that day. If he receives a grown 
servant of heathens, and the servant is not willing to be circumcised, 
he bears with him a whole year ; but more than that he is forbidden 
to keep him, seeing he is uncircumcised, lut he must send him again 
to the heathens." 

On Exod. 20, our commentator saith, in his notes on the Fourth 
Commandment, thy man-servant and thy maid-servant, " this is to 
be understood, according to the Jews, not of hired servants, con- 
cerning whose rest from labor a man was not bound, lut of such as 
were lorn in the house and lought with their money, and of such 
men-servants as were circumcised, and in all things professed to be 
proselytes to the Jewish religion." 

And in his comment on the Tenth Commandment, thou shalt not 
covet thy neighbor's house, nor his man-servant nor his maid-servant, 
etc., he saith, this " serves to explain the Eighth Commandment, 

166 GILL. 

showing that we are not only forbid to take away what is another 
man's property, any of the goods here mentioned, or any other, but 
we are not secretly to desire them," etc. 

On Exod. 21 : 4, If his master have given him a wife, Dr. Gill ex- 
plains it as meaning : " One of his slaves, a Canaanitish woman, on 
purpose to beget slaves on her, since all born in his house were his 

The twenty-fifth chapter of Leviticus, verse 44, Both thy bondmen 
and thy bondmaids which thou shalt have, etc., is thus explained by 
our commentator: "Such it seems were allowed them but they 
were not to be of the nation of Israel, but of other nations they 
shall be of the heathens that are round about thee, of them shall ye 
buy bondmen and bondmaids ; that is, of the Ammonites, Moabites, 
Edomites, and Syrians, as Aben Ezra saith, that were their neigh- 
TERLY TO DESTROY ; whereupon Jarchi observes, It is said, that are 
round about thee, not in the midst of the border of your land, for 
them they were not to save alive." (Deut. 20 : 16.) 

V. 45. Moreover, of the children of the strangers that do sojourn 
among you, etc. "The uncircumcised sojourners," saith Dr. Gill, 
" as they are called in the Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan, prose- 
lytes of the gate, such of the nations round about, who came and 
sojourned among them, being subject to the precepts given to the 
sons of Noah respecting idolatry, etc., but were not circumcised, and 
did not embrace the Jewish religion ; of them shall ye buy for bond- 
men and bondmaids, and of their families that are with you, which 
they begat in your land, but, as the Targum of Jonathan adds, are 
not of the Canaanites." 

Here our learned commentator shows clearly the judgment of the 
highest Jewish authorities, proving that the decree of slavery did not 
apply to the seven nations who were ordered to be destroyed, when 
the land of Canaan was given to the Israelites for a possession, but to 
the other idolatrous nations: and therefore we see, first, that the 
Jews were authorized to buy slaves of any heathen people ; and sec- 
ondly, that the prophecy of Noah was not to be limited to that por- 
tion of the race of Canaan which inhabited the promised land, but 
should be extended to all the rest of his posterity. For when we 
read that the sons of Canaan included eleven distinct names, and that 
their families were spread abroad many centuries before J ie time of 

GILL. 167 

Moses, it is absurd to suppose that they were not to be found in 
many other parts of Africa, the land of Ham, besides that portion of 
them which had settled in Palestine. 

V. 46. And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children 
after you, etc. " Which," continues Dr. Gill, " they might leave 
them at their death to inherit, as they did their estates and lands ; 
for such servants are, with the Jews, said to be like immovable goods, 
as fields, vineyards, etc., to inherit them for a possession, as their pro- 
perty, as any thing else that was bequeathed to them, as negroes now 
are in our plantations abroad; they shall he your bondmen forever, 


unless they obtajned their liberty either by purchase or by a writing 
under their master's hand," etc. 

On the favorite text of the ultra-abolitionist, " Thou shalt not de- 
liver unto his master the servant which is escaped from his master 
unto thee, Deut. 23 : 15, Dr. Gill gives this commentary : " That is," 
saith he, " one that has been used ill by a cruel and tyrannical master, 
and was in danger of his life with him, and therefore obliged to make 
his escape from him on that account ; such an one when he fell into 
the hands of an Israelite, was not to be taken and bound and sent back 
to his master again, but was to be retained till his master's anger 
subsided, or however, until inquiry could be made into the cause of 
the difference between him and his master, and matters made up be- 
tween them to mutual satisfaction; for it can not be thod^ht that this 
law was made to encourage every idle, disobedient, and fugitive serv- 
ant, which would be very sinful and unjust. The Jewish writers 
generally understand it of the servants of idolaters, fleeing for the 
sake of religion. Onkelos renders it ' a servant of heathen people.' 
The Targum of Jonathan is: ' Thou shalt not deliver a stranger into 
the hands of those that worship idols, but he shall be delivered by 
you that he may be under the shadow of my SheJcinah, because he 
hath fled from the worship of his idol.' Aben Ezra interprets it of 
a servant, not an Israelite, who, in time of war, flees from his master, 
not an Israelite also, unto the camp of Israel, and that for the glory 
of the divine name. Such an one, though a servant, might not be de- 
livered to his master." 

And on the text in Deut. 24 : 7, If a man he found stealing any 
of his brethren of the children of Israel, our commentator saith : 
" Whether grown up or little, male or female, an Israelite or a prose- 

168 GILL. 

lyte, or a freed servant, all, as Maimonides says, are included in this 
general word, brethren ; though Aben Ezra observes that it is added 
of the children of Israel, for explanation, since an Edomite is called 
a brother. Now a man must be found committing this fact ; that is, 
it must plainly appear ; there must be full proof of it by witnesses, as 
Jarchi explains this word," etc. 

It is perfectly manifest, according to this and the other commenta- 
tors, that the attempt of the ultra-abolitionist to press these texts into 
his service is in utter contradiction of all the doctors among the Jews ; 
as well as all the Christian writers anterior to Scott and Clarke, 
who belong to the innovating school of the nineteenth century. And 
now I shall proceed to those texts in the New Testament, which are 
the chief guides to the Church of Christ. 

Beginning as before with 1 Cor. V : 21, Art thou called being a 
servant, etc., Dr. Gill gives the following comment, viz., " That is," 
saith he, " art thou called by grace whilst in the condition of a serv- 
ant, care not for it be not anxiously solicitous to be otherwise ; 
bear the yoke patiently, go through thy servitude cheerfully, and 
serve thy master faithfully, but if thou mayest be made free use it 
rather. The Syriac version renders the last clause, choose for thyself 
rather to serve; perfectly agreeable to the sense given of the words 
by several great critics and excellent interpreters, who take the Apos- 
tle's meaning to be, that should a Christian servant have an oppor- 
tunity of mating his escape from, his master, or could he by any art, 
trick, and fraudulent method obtain his liberty, it would be much 
more advisable to continue a servant than to become free by any such 
means. Yea, some carry the sense so far, that even if the servants 
could be made free in a lawful way, yet servitude was most eligible, 
both for their own and their masters' good ; for their own, to keep 
them humble, and exercise their patience ; for their masters' not only 
temporal but spiritual good, since by their good behavior they might 
be a means of recommending the Gospel to them, and of gaining them 
to Christ. But one should rather think the more obvious sense is, 
that when a Christian servant has his freedom offered him by his 
master, or he can come at it in a lawful and honorable way, this being 
preferable to servitude, he ought rather to make use of it, since he 
would be in a better situation and more at leisure to serve Christ and 
the interest of religion." 

The comment of Dr. Gill on Eph. 6 : 5, Servants, be obedient to 

GILL. 169 

them that are your masters, etc., is very clear, and in perfect accord- 
ance with all the others, viz. : " The Apostle," saith he, "enlarges on 
the duty of servants, as well as frequently inculcates it in his epistles, 
because, generally speaking, they were more rude and ignorant, and 
less pains were taken with them to instruct them ; they were apt to 
be impatient and weary of the yoke, and scandal was likely to arise 
from servants in the first ages of Christianity through some libertines, 
and the licentiousness of the false teachers who insinuated that servi- 
tude was inconsistent with Christian freedom ; the persons exhorted 
are servants, bond-servants, and hired servants, who are to be subject 
to and obey their masters, of each sex, whether believers or unbe- 
lievers, good or bad-humored, gentle or froward in things pertain- 
ing to the flesh, in things temporal, which concern the body and this 
temporal life", not in things spiritual and religious, that belong to con- 
science. And obedience is to be yielded to them with fear and 
trembling, with great humility and respect, with submission to their 
reproofs and corrections, and with fear of punishment, but more espe- 
cially with the fear of God, in singleness of heart, without hypocrisy 
and dissimulation, and with all integrity and faithfulness as unto 
Christ, it being agreeable to His will, and what makes for His glory, 
and serves to adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things." 

On 1 Tim. 6 : 1, Let as many servants as are under the yoke, etc., 
the same commentator writes as follows : "Under the yoke of govern- 
ment, as the Arabic version renders it, that is, under the yoke of men, 
in a state of servitude, under the government of masters and in their 
service, being either apprentices to them or bought with their money, 
or hired by them, let them count their own masters worthy of all 
honor, and give it them, which includes subjection to them, obedience 
to all their lawful commands," etc. 

Verse 3. If any man teach otherwise, etc., or "another doctrine, 
as the Syriac version renders it, a doctrine different from what the 
Apostle had now taught concerning the duty of servants to their mas- 
ters, as did the false teachers who despised government or domin- 
ion," etc. 

Verse 4. He is proud, knowing nothing, etc. " Or swelled up," 
continues Dr. Gill, " with a vain conceit of himself and his own no- 
tions, and treats with a haughty air the faithful ministers of the Word, 
knowing nothing as he ought to know, not any thing substantial, but 
doting about questions and strifes of words, or his mind is distem- 

170 GILL. 

pered, his head is light and wild, his fancy is roving, and he talks of 
things he knows not what, the ill effects of which are as follow, 
whereof cometh envy and strife, contention, quarreling, the peace and 
comfort of particular persons, and even of whole communities are' 
broken and destroyed thereby ; yea, these also produce railings at 
one another, and especially at the faithful ministers of the Gospel : for 
when the false teachers can not overcome them by Scripture and ar- 
gument, they fall to railing and reviling of them" etc. " Wherefore 
the Apostle gives the following advice to Timothy, and through him 
to all ministers and churches. From such withdraw thyself ; do not 
come near them, have nothing to do with them, have no communion 
with them, either in a civil or religious way ; avoid all conversation 
with them," etc. 

As to the Epistle of St Paul to Philemon, Dr. Gill agrees with all 
the other commentators. " The design of the epistle," saith he, " was 
this : Philemon's servant, Onesimus, having either embezzled his 
master's goods or robbed him, ran away from him and fled to Rome, 
where the Apostle was a prisoner, in chains, in his own hired house, 
under the custody of a soldier, and where he received all that came, 
and preached the Gospel to them. Among those that went to hear 
him this fugitive servant was one, and was converted under his min- 
istry. Now the design of this epistle is to reconcile Philemon to his 
servant, and to entreat him to receive him again, not only as a serv- 
ant, but as a brother in Christ ; and the most proper and prudent me- 
thods and arguments are used to engage him in it. The epistle, 
though it is a familiar one and short, is very instructive ; it shows 
great humility in the Apostle, and that he did not think it below him 
to be concerned in doing such an office as to reconcile a master to his 
servant, and which is worthy of imitation ; as also it teaches the right 
that masters have over their servants, which is not lost by their be- 
coming Christians" etc. 

I shall only add one extract more from this learned commentator, 
viz., on 1 Pet. 2 : 18, Servants, be subject to your masters, etc. 
" This," saith Dr. Gill, " was another notion of the Jews, that be- 
cause they were the seed of Abraham, they ought not to be the serv- 
ants of any ; and particularly such as were believers in Christ, thought 
they ought not to serve unbelieving masters, nor indeed believing 
ones, because they were equally brethren in Christ with them. Hence 
the Apostle Peter here, as the Apostle Paul frequently elsewhere, in- 

GILL. 1T1 

culcates this duty of servants to their masters : the manner in which 
they are to be subject to them is with all fear, with reverence to 
their persons, strict regard to their commands, faithfulness in any 
trust reposed in them, diligence in the discharge of their duty, and 
all this not only to the good and gentle, lut also to the froward, the 
ill-natured, morose, and rigorous," etc. 

I have been thus copious in my extracts from the exposition of Dr. 
Gill, not only in consideration of his acknowledged learning, but be- 
cause the various societies of the Baptist denomination, of which he 
was the most eminent oracle for a very long period, form the largest 
Christian body on our continent, and deserve a proportionate measure 
of respectful attention. But now I shall hasten onward to my re- 
maining authorities, which can be satisfactorily dispatched with 
greater brevity. 



RIGHT REVEREND BROTHER: Before I return to the Episcopalian 
commentators, there is one name deservedly high in the estimation of 
our Presbyterian brethren, and of many amongst ourselves, whom I 
may not pass by that of the Rev. Dr. Doddridge. From his well- 
known and greatly esteemed Paraphrase, therefore, I quote the fol- 
lowing passage on Eph. 6 : 5. 

" There is yet another relation between masters and servants, con- 
cerning which I shall proceed to advise you. I would exhort you 
who are servants, whether of the meanest rank, such as londmen and 
slaves, or in the station only of hired servants, that ye be subject and 
obedient to those who are your masters and proprietors, though they 
be only so according to the flesh." 

And to this I shall add his Introduction to the Epistle of St. Paul 
to Philemon, whieh agrees with the preceding commentators precisely : 

"Philemon," saith Dr. Doddridge, "was an inhabitant of Colosse. 
He seems, from several hints given in the Epistle, to have been a per- 
son of distinction, particularly from the mention made of the Church 
in his house, (v. 2,) and his liberal contributions to the relief of the 
saints, (v. 5, 7,) and the general strain of the letter shows that the 
Apostle held him in very high esteem, and looked upon him as one 
of the great supports of religion in that society." 

" The occasion of the letter was this : Onesimus, Philemon's slave, 
had robbed his master, and fled to Rome, where, happily for him, he 
met with the Apostle, and by his instructions and admonitions was 
converted to Christianity, and reclaimed to a sense of his duty." 

" St Paul seems to have kept him for some considerable time under 
his eye, that he might be satisfied of the reality of the change, and 
when he had made a sufficient trial of him, and found that his beha- 
vior was entirely agreeable to his profession, he would not detain him 
any longer for his own private convenience, but sent him back to his 
master. And as Philemon might well be supposed to be strongly 


prejudiced against one who had left his service in so infamous a man- 
ner, he sends him this letter, in which he employs all his influence to 
remove his suspicions, and reconcile him to the thoughts of taking 
Onesimus into his family again." 

The next commentary, and one of much reputation amongst Epis- 
copalians, is that which is known as Hammond's Paraphrase and 
Annotations on the New Testament. And here we have the same 
doctrine repeated in plain terms. Thus the paraphrase on 1 Tim. 
6 : 1 is as follows, viz. : 

" Those Christians that are bondmen to heathens must perform all 
service and obedience to them which belong to them by the law of 
servants among the heathens; that the profession of Christianity and 
the doctrine of the Gospel be not looked upon by the heathens as that 
which makes men worse livers than they were, neglecting their moral 
duties for being Christians." 

" And those Christians that have Christian masters must not with- 
draw any of that obedience which is due to them upon the plea that 
they are Christians, and so their equals or brethren ; but think them- 
selves the more obliged to serve them, because the faith and love that 
constitute men Christians consist in helping to do good, and conse- 
quently the performing due service to them is a very Christian thing, 
and that which Christianity doth not less but more oblige them to. 
These are things of such a nature, so much required ~by the Christian 
religion, and the contrary at this time, so taught by the Gnostic he- 
retics, that it is necessary for thee to give these admonitions to all." 

The celebrated Locke, as you know, wrote a commentary on the 
Epistles of St. Paul, which obtained considerable reputation in our 
mother Church of England. And there is a note appended to his 
remarks concerning the text in 1. Cor. 7 : 28, worthy of your atten- 
tion. It is in these words, viz. : 

1 Cor. V : 23. Ye are bought with a price. " Slaves were bought 
and sold in the market, as cattle are, and so, by the price paid, there 
was a property acquired in them. This, therefore, is a reason for 
what he advised that they should not be slaves to men, because 
Christ had paid a price for them, and they belonged to Him. The 
slavery he speaks of is civil slavery, which he makes use of to con- 
vince the Corinthians that the civil ties of marriage were not dissolved 
by a man's becoming a Christian, since slavery itself was not, and in 


general, in the next verse, he tells them, that nothing in any man's 
civil estate or rights is altered ~by his becoming a Christian" 

I shall next proceed to quote some portions of the well-known work 
of Rev. George D'Oyly, B.D., and Rev. Richard Mant, D.D., domestic 
chaplains to the Archbishop of Canterbury, which was published 
under the direction of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge 
in England, and republished, with some additional notes, by the emi- 
nent Bishop Hobart, as being well adapted for our American Church, in 
A.D. 1818. It belongs, therefore, to the present century, though 
several years anterior to the emancipation of the slaves in Jamaica 
by the British Parliament. 

I commence with a statement of the learned Dr. Hales, which is 
placed in the notes on Gen. 10:1: " The following curious and 
valuable commentary," saith he, " which records the primitive settle- 
ments of the three families, is furnished by Abulfaragi, in his history 
of the Dynasties. * In the one hundred and fortieth year of Phaleg 
the earth was divided, by a second division, among the sons of Noah. 
To the sons of Shem was allotted the middle of the earth, namely, 
Palestine, Syria, Assyria, Samarra, (a town of Babylonian or Chal- 
dean Irac,) Babel, Persia, and Hegiaz, (or Arabia Petraea.) To 
the sons of Ham, Teman, (or Idumaea, Jer. 49 : 7,) Africa, Nigritia, 
Egypt, Nubia, ^Ethiopia, Scindia, and India, on both sides of the In- 
dus. To the sons of Japheth also, Garbia, (the North,) Spain, 
France, the countries of the Greeks, Sclavonians, Bulgarians, Turks, 
and Armenians." 

Now here the allotment gives a large range to Ham, but Palestine 
is expressly included as belonging to Shem, and therefore the portion 
of the Canaanites who obtained possession of it were not the original 
owners of the soil. 

This fact would only add another reason for bestowing the land on 
the Israelites, who were of the posterity of Shem, and had the right 
to claim it, as belonging to them by express allotment. 

This original distribution of the earth is regarded by learned and 
thoughtful men as of very high importance. For thus our commen- 
tary proceeds : " It was made," saith Joseph Mede, " in an orderly 
manner, and not by a confused, irregular dispersion, wherein every 
one went and seated himself where he thought good." And Bryant 
saith that " This distribution was by the immediate appointment 
of God. We have full evidence of this in that sublime and pathe- 


tic hymn of Moses, Deut. 32 : 7, 8, 9. From this we may see that 
the whole was by God's appointment, and that there was a reserve 
for the people who were to come after. St. Paul likewise speaks of 
it expressly as a divine ordinance, Acts IT : 26. This is taken notice 
of by many of the fathers. Eusebius in particular mentions ' the 
distribution of the earth,' and adds that it happened in the two thou- 
sand six hundred and seventy-second year of the Creation, and in 
the nine hundred and thirtieth year of the patriarch's life. Thus it 
was that Noah, by divine appointment, divided the world between 
his three sons. It is remarkable that " the Grecians," saith Bryant, 
" had some traditions of this partition of the earth, which they sup- 
posed to have been by lot, and between Jupiter, Neptune, and 

It is further worthy of note, as " Sir William Jones has demon- 
strated, that three great branches of language are sufficient to account 
for all the varieties now extant." (Calmet j s Dictionary, /Supple- 

That Melchizedek was a " Canaanitish prince " was the opinion of 
Dr. Hales, because he was the king of Salem, " the most ancient 
quarter of Jerusalem," and the name of Canaan is supposed, though 
erroneously, to have been given to that land in the time of Abraham, 
Gen. 12 : 5. But even if this supposition were correct, I could not 
conceive that Melchizedek belonged to the race of that Canaan, whose 
posterity had been doomed to a curse by the patriarch Noah. Noth- 
ing was more common at that time, and nothing is more common in 
our own day, than to find the same name given to men and to places. 
This coincidence, of itself, would therefore be entirely insufficient to 
prove that Melchizedek was a Canaanite with respect to his genealogy. 
We read, indeed, in the next verse, that " the Canaanite was then 
in the land. But by this," as the commentator saith, " is meant, not 
all the posterity of Canaan, or all the Canaanitish tribes, ~but only 
one particular tribe of them." This tribe may have been living 
there, and Sodom and Gomorrah may have been built by them, and 
become petty principalities long before, without interfering with the 
king of Salem, Melchizedek. 

I consider it altogether more reasonable, therefore, to regard this 
priest and king as of the race of Shem, in whom the prophecy of 
Noah had placed the high prerogative of belonging specially to the 
Lord God, "Blessed be the Lord God of Shem." For to this "king 


of righteousness and prince of peace " the chief rank of religious 
privilege ha<J been vouchsafed, in being the eminent type of the 
Lord Jesus Christ, a priest of the Most High God, and set before all 
others in this respect, that the divine Redeemer was to be " a priest 
forever, after the order of Melchizedek." 

The trifling extent of kingdoms, even five centuries later than the 
time of Abraham, may be easily inferred from the fact that Joshua 
smote thirty-one kings, although he did not conquer the whole land 
of Canaan. Hence it is obvious, as saith Bishop Patrick, that " by 
the term ' Kings ' we are merely to understand petty princes or lords 
perhaps of some single cities, with a few dependent villages, whose 
inhabitants were their tenants." (Joshua 12 : 24.) One of these 
kings was the king of Ai, the population of which is stated to have 
been twelve thousand ; but this was much smaller than many of the 

With respect to Melchizedek, however, Pool, in the Synopsis CritL 
corum, saith that the oldest and best of the Hebrew doctors sup- 
posed him to be the patriarch Shem himself. " Noah constituit Sem 
dominum terra Canaan, speciali titulo. Hue ergo venit Sem, et 
urbem Salem adificavit, et Me regnamt" i. e., Noah appointed Shem 
to be lord of the land of Canaan, by special title. Here, therefore* 
Shem came, and built the city of Salem, and reigned there. The 
name Melchizedek, signifying the " king of righteousness," was given 
to him, according to St. Augustin and others, as a title of honor, and 
was not his proper name ; just as we see that names of the same sort 
were given to many other persons in the Old Testament. And the 
text might have been translated with perfect propriety, " The Icing 
of righteousness, who was the Icing of Salem, brought forth bread 
and wine," etc. (Gen. 14 : 18.) So, in the 110th Psalm, " The Lord 
sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest forever, after the 
order of HelchizedeTc," might have been rendered, " after the order 
of the Icing of righteousness." St. Paul, referring to this name in his 
epistle to the Hebrews, is careful to give its signification, as also that 
of Salem, which is " Peace," so that on the whole there is a strong 
probability that the Jewish doctors were right in their hypothesis, 
and we may confidently say that no good reason can be brought 
against it 

The argument, therefore, which I have already, in part, indicated, 
will stand thus : 


First, we hare the prophecy of Noah, in which the name of Canaan, 
signifying Humiliation, is given to the son of Ham ; and his pos- 
terity are doomed to servitude in its lowest form, slavery. (Gen. 
9 : 25.) 

Next, we have the sons and descendants of Canaan set forth, 
Sidon, Heth, the Jebusite, the Amorite, the Girgasite, the Hivite, the 
Arkite, the Sinite, the Arvadite, the Zemarite, and the Hamathite, 
eleven different names in all, and considerably exceeding the number 
set down to the brethren of Canaan. For the sons of Gush were 
Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Ramah, and Sabtichah, only five. Mizraim 
begat Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, Naphtuhim, Pathrusim, Casluhim, 
and Caphtorim, only seven, while the children of Phut are not named 
at all. Thus we have eleven names set down to Canaan, and twelve 
to Gush and Mizraim both together, plainly leading to the conclusion 
that the posterity of Ham, in the line of Canaan, was almost one 
half of the population to which Africa was to be assigned. (Gen. 10.) 

In the third place, we have an intimation of the wide diffusion of 
Canaan's descendants, in the statement of the sacred historian, that 
" afterwards were the families of the Canaanites spread abroad " 
(Gen. 10 : 18) a statement which is not made concerning any other 
part of Ham's posterity. 

Fourthly, we have the fact, that in the days of Peleg the earth was 
divided. (Gen. 10 : 25.) And we have seen the tradition of the 
Jews, as stated by Abulfaragi, together with the extracts from 
Mode and Bryant, referring to Eusebius and many of the fathers, 
that this division was by divine appointment, under the authority 
of Noah, and in the nine hundred and thirtieth year of the patri- 
arch's life. In this division, Africa fell to the lot of Ham's posterity, 
Asia to that of Shem, and Europe to that of Japheth, while Palestine 
is specially mentioned as belonging to Shem. But there is a 
statement in Gen. 10 : 19, which appears to be, at first sight, incon- 
sistent with this arrangement. For there we read that " the border 
of the Canaanites was from Sidon, as thou comest to Gerar, unto 
Gaza, as thou goest unto Sodom and Gomorrah" which certainly 
looks like a location of the Canaanites in Palestine. This difficulty, 
however, arises only from the introduction of the definite article, 
which is not authorized by the original Hebrew. Instead of " the 
border of the Canaanites," it should be a border of the Canaanites, 
meaning that Palestine was one of the places into which their fami- 


lies had "spread abroad" We have seen that eleven heads of tribes 
proceeded from Canaan, and we know that only seven of them were 
established in the promised land, five hundred years after Abraham 
went there. And therefore it is reasonable to conclude that at this 
time, namely, when Abraham became a resident, a small portion 
perhaps, as Bishop Patrick estimated it, part of one tribe of Canaan's 
descendants had emigrated from Africa, and made a settlement in 
Sodom and Gomorrah, for " the Canaanite was then in the land," 
(Gen. 12 : 6,) while the far greater bulk of them still remained in the 
land of Ham, namely, in Africa, their allotted heritage. 

Fifthly, we read of Melchizedek, or " the King of righteousness," 
in Salem, the principal city in Palestine, whom we can not reasonably 
suppose to be of the race of Canaan, but either Shem himself, or one 
of his posterity. "We also find that Abraham and Lot met with no 
difficulty in settling where they pleased ; a plain proof that the land 
was at that time unoccupied to a great extent, and open to any emi- 
grants who chose to go there. This fact is a conclusive demonstra- 
tion that the tribe of Canaanites had then established only a partial 
and very limited possession, amounting to little more than Sodom 
and Gomorrah. Now there can be no objection made to this, except 
what may be predicated upon the single fact that the whole region, 
elsewhere called Palestine, is here styled Canaan, as if it were the 
proper and original seat of the Canaanites. And such, doubtless, 
has been the general impression, although it appears to my mind to 
be altogether a mistaken one. 

For we read, before the full establishment of Abraham, that there 
was a famine in the land, " and Abraham went down to sojourn in 
Egypt." How long he remained there, we can not tell ; but after 
his return, we find that an addition had been made to the strangers 
from abroad, who came into Canaan. For whereas, before, we read 
that the Canaanite was then in the land, we now read that " the 
Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land." (Gen. 
13.) From this it is easy to perceive the growth of the Canaanitish 
tribes, by accessions of their brethren. The country was delightful. 
It was favorable to agriculture. It was open to the settler. And it 
combined, with these advantages, a commodious position on the 
Mediterranean Sea, admirably adapted to commerce. That the race 
of Canaan, in those early ages, had a spirit of active enterprise and a 
fondness for trade and speculation, must be inferred from the fact 


that the word Canaanite became, in due time, synonymous with 
merchant, whereas the race of Shem was devoted to agricultural and 
pastoral life, as we see in the cases of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and 
his sons in the land of Goshen, and yet more especially in the ar- 
rangement which the Almighty made for Israel in Canaan, where a 
farm was given to every family. 

But in order to account for the name of Canaan being given to 
Palestine, in connection with the commencement of Abraham's resi- 
dence, and while the patriarch Shem, or one of his immediate pro- 
geny, reigned as Melchizedek, or the king of righteousness, in Salem, 
I shall state my view at large, which I think will be found in perfect 
analogy with other historical facts, familiar to us all. 

The most reasonable statement of the matter, in my opinion, is the 
following, viz. : That Moses, who wrote this narrative for the special 
instruction of the Israelites, some five hundred years after Abraham's 
sojourn, set down the names of the places, not as they were known 
then, but as they were known in his own time ; because his narrative 
could not have been understood by any other method. Thus in Gen. 
10 : 19, the names of Sidon, Gerar, Gaza, Admah, etc., are not to be 
supposed as belonging to the places indicated, at that early day. 
Sodom and Gomorrah, indeed, must have been then planted by the 
Canaanite and the Perizzite, because they were destroyed during the 
life of Abraham and Lot ; but the other places were probably not 
known under those names, until some centuries later. 

Thus, for example, suppose an historian of our times, writing 
about the condition of the country two hundred years ago, should 
say, that the English and the Dutch were then in the land, but Mas- 
sachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New-Hampshire, Vermont, 
New- York, and Pennsylvania were all a wilderness, trodden by the 
Indians, #r^the wild animals. This language would be perfectly 
correct and intelligible ; but no one would infer from it that the region 
of country, now comprehended by those States, was then marked out 
and known by their present appellations. And the historian would 
be justified in his mode of expression, because, even if these portions 
of the land had acquired any names at all in that early period, those 
names must have been given to them by the Indians, and the re- 
cital of them to us, would convey no clear ic ea of the locality. 

It seems manifest, therefore, that when Moses speaks of Abraham 
coming, at the divine command, into the land of Canaan, we are 


authorized to suppose, not that it was then known by that name, but 
that this was its name at the time when the sacred history was writ- 
ten; and therefore he used it, according to the rule of common-sense, 
viz., in order to be perfectly understood by those to whom his his- 
tory was addressed. 

How it came afterwards to be known by that name is easily com- 
prehended. The Canaanites began by a portion of one tribe ; then 
their praises of the region brought others, and so, by degrees, the 
whole was settled by emigrants from the seven nations, whose com- 
mercial activity and enterprise gained them the distinction of being 
the merchants, by excellence, of the surrounding regions. Their 
great advancement, in numbers and in power, took place while the 
Israelites were in Egypt, a period longer than these United States 
have passed since the first settlement of the colonists from England. 
And their commercial success had made the word Canaanite almost 
synonymous with that of merchant, from which fact the secondary 
meaning of the word Canaan was derived, according to Taylor, and 
all our best Hebrew authorities.* So that, in common usage, the 
land of Canaan was understood to be the land of the merchant, or 
the land of commerce, as well as the land of the Canaanite. And 
their prosperity and wealth became manifested, as in all similar 
cases, by their splendid cities, walled round and fortified ; and their 
pride and licentiousness increased with their idolatry. The curse of 
Noah had long been forgotten, or derided in their heathenism ; and 
they boasted of their genealogy as the largest and most powerful 
race descended from the patriarch, whose families had thus spread 
abroad; until at length, "the iniquity of the Amorites" was full, 
and the decree of God commanded the Israelites to take possession 
of the land, and devote its flagitious inhabitants to destruction. 

The land of Canaan now became, therefore, the land ofc Israel, and 
subsequently, Judea. The Canaanites, as a nation or nations, ap- 

* In Taylor's Hebrew Concordance we have the following statement, viz. : 
3)35 hath two significations. 

1. HwrniliarG 86, deprimere, to bow down, to bring low. Applied to the subduing 
of a nation, to the humbling the proud, to a wicked person's being humbled for his sins, 

2. Canaan, negotiator. Canaan, the grandson of Noah, so called because he was 
depressed by hia grandfather into the low condition of a servant of servants. Gen. 9 : 25. 
And because the Oanaanites were much in the mercantile way of life, hence a mer 

Of this latter meaning Taylor cites nine examples. 


pear no more, under their former names. But nevertheless we know 
that the whole were not exterminated. A considerable portion re- 
mained whom the Israelites were not able to expel. Probably a 
much larger portion escaped from the sword of Joshua, and these 
may have been the founders of Tyre and Sidon, and Phoenicia and 
Carthage, which all agree to have been planted by the race of the 
Canaanites. The most natural course, however, for many of them, 
would be to betake themselves to Africa, for that was the land of 
Ham, and there they would have met with the most hospitable re- 
ception from their kindred and brethren. And therefore I think it 
the more probable hypothesis, that the greatest numbers of the fu- 
gitives from the land of Canaan became the inhabitants of that region 
which was designated for their abode by the division under Noah, 
so many centuries before ; and with which they had doubtless kept 
up a friendly intercourse of old attachment and consanguinity, as 
descendants from their common progenitor. 

We thus behold the same events in the early history of Palestine, 
which took place long afterwards among other nations. For example, 
England was originally inhabited by the Britons, and was known by 
the name of Britannia. But the Angles and the Saxons came in 
from the continent, first as friends, and then they resolved to estab- 
lish themselves as conquerors. They succeeded, and the island was 
divided among seven independent powers, and they gave it the new 
name of Anglia. But these invaders were only a part of the whole, 
the main body of their raqe remaining on the continent. 

So, in the case of our own country. It was in possession of the 
Indians. The English planted first one, and then another feeble 
colony. They multiplied, and finally gained full possession, calling 
the land by new and English names. But the great body of the 
English remained at home, and the numbers who emigrated made no 
serious inroad on the increase of the population, in the mother- 

So in the settlement of our Western States. They received settlers 
from the old States, and grew rapidly ; but in no instance were the 
numbers withdrawn by emigration so great, as to prevent the growth 
of the population which they had left behind them. 

Reasoning, then, from all historical analogy, there can be no doubt 
that the course of the Canaanites in Palestine was substantially the 
same. The land belonged to Shem, by virtue of the division made 


by Noah under the divine direction. Melchizedek, the king of right- 
eousness, was in possession at Salem, but the greater part of the re- 
gion was uninhabited, and there was abundant room for strangers. 
The Canaanites found their way into it from Africa, which had been 
allotted to Ham and his posterity. They came at first in small num- 
bers. The Perizzites, another tribe which descended from Canaan, 
followed. They came as friends, and settled peaceably, and built 
Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Zoar, before Abraham arrived at the 
command of the Almighty. By degrees they increased, and when 
we survey their condition, five centuries later, they had filled the 
land, and no trace of the posterity of Shem appears amongst them. 
Salem, which was once the territory of Melchizedek, had become the 
seat of the Jebusites, who called it Jebus, and the name of their 
common progenitor, Canaan, was given to the whole region. But 
we are not to believe that the entire body of any of the seven nations 
had left Africa. As in the other cases to which I have referred, we 
must suppose that only a portion, and that the much smaller portion 
of each, abandoned that continent, which was their allotted home. 
And therefore we may fairly conclude that the bulk of the eleven 
nations comprising the posterity of Canaan remained in Africa, and 
multiplied there, notwithstanding a part of seven of those nations 
had emigrated to Palestine, and, as in all such instances, had " called 
the land after their own name." 

The result would therefore be that the great body of the posterity 
of Canaan, at the time of Israel's invasion, were not in Palestine, but 
in Africa. We have seen that his descendants included eleven dis- 
tinct names, while those of Gush were only^z^, and those of Mizraim 
only seven. Four of the eleven appear not to have gone to Palestine, 
as we only find seven nations enumerated there, whom the Israelites 
were commissioned to destroy. And these four, along with the bulk 
of the other seven who had remained in Africa, the land of Ham, 
not only made up almost one half of the population, but must have 
mingled their blood with all the rest, by the promiscuous intercourse 
of the sexes, which has prevailed in that benighted continent for so 
many centuries. And hence the strong probability is that the whole 
negro race, for several ages, has been literally descended from Canaan, 
and would therefore come within the terms of Noah's prophecy, that 
they should be the servants of their brethren. We have seen how 
this prophecy is actually fulfilled in the present state of Africa, from 


the statement of Malte Brun, who saith that two thirds of the native 
negroes are slaves, under the most cruel and inhuman yoke of their 
savage and heathen masters. 

It is supposed by some, however, that the Canaanites could not be 
negroes, 1, because they were not black, and 2 : because they were 
builders of great cities, and active promoters of commerce very dif- 
ferent, in these respects, from the Africans of the present day. 

To this, I think it easy to make a satisfactory reply. With respect 
to color, we all suppose that Noah and his sons were white men. But 
the posterity of Ham comprises a variety of shades, some of them 
being as black as ebony. Now the general opinion of physiologists 
is, that the color depends on the climate, the food, and the habits ; but 
no one has ever discovered how many generations must pass before 
these will change the white man into a negro. Nor would it be pos- 
sible to determine whether these causes are sufficient to account for 
the present differences, not only in color, but in the form, the counte- 
nance, and the very anatomy of the frame, amongst the races of the 
human family. For aught we know, it may require the special act 
of God, to adapt each race to its peculiar location and circumstances. 
And assuredly, when we see that the hand of Providence has estab- 
lished this adaptation in the insects, the birds, the animals, and the 
very trees and flowers of each climate on our globe, we can not with 
any reason deny that the same beneficent power has been as consid- 
erate and kind to the human family. 

But at what time, and in what measure, the change of color was 
accomplished, it is impossible to ascertain. Three thousand eight 
hundred years have elapsed since the time of Abraham, and more 
than two thousand since the fall of Carthage. What color then 
marked the Canaanites no man can tell. How far the more temper- 
ate climate of Palestine, Tyre, Sidon, and Carthage, assisted by inter- 
marriages with a fairer race, may have made a difference between that 
portion of them which had emigrated from Africa, and the bulk of 
the Canaanites who remained there, is a mere matter of conjecture. 
But certain it is that we can not assign any reason why the posterity 
of Canaan in Africa should be lighter in their hue, than the pos- 
terity of Cush. Certain it is, that Canaan was the son of Ham, and 
that the negroes are Ham's posterity. And if, as I have shown, the 
great body of the Canaanites must have lived and multiplied in Afri- 
ca, they could not have been exempted from the general result which 


Providence has produced in the form and the complexion of their 
brethren, whether that result was brought about in the course of ten 
or twenty centuries. 

With respect to the second objection, viz., that the Canaanites were 
builders of great cities and active promoters of commerce, so that, 
as we have seen, the name of Canaanite became synonymous with the 
business of a merchant, there is no difficulty whatever. For I have 
never denied that the negro race is capable of attaining a high degree 
of skill in any of the ordinary departments of human knowledge, 
under proper circumstances. They differ, of course, as all men differ, 
in their mental capacity and energy. We know that, as a general 
rule, those persons who emigrate from their native country, in order 
to plant new settlements abroad, are the most enterprising, bold, and 
adventurous spirits in the community. The change of condition in 
which they place themselves calls forth the exertion of all their fac- 
ulties, and whatever amount of intellect they possess becomes de- 
veloped in the most available form, by the constant stimulus of ne- 
cessity. Hence we may readily account for the difference between 
that portion of the Canaanites which left Africa for Palestine, and 
the great body of those who remained in their native land ; where, 
as Malte Brun informs us, twenty days in the year suffices for the 
labor of their maintenance, and there is no room for any emulation 
in the arts of civilized life, because they have no standard of com- 
parison. The contrast, indeed, may be easily imagined, when we re- 
gard the inhabitants of Liberia, advancing rapidly in commerce, in 
architecture, and even in literature ; and then turn our eyes upon the 
millions of negroes still living in the Southern States. It is the same 
race, but under totally different circumstances. And therefore it is 
that I have always been the advocate of a gradual abolition of vlav 
ery, connected with the transmission of the freedmen to African soil, 
where the stimulus of their new location would develop their powers, 
to the best advantage. While, on the contrary, I have opposed their 
immediate emancipation in the South, remaining there, under tha 
overshadowing superiority of the white race ; not only because such a 
state of society would be intolerable to their former masters, but also 
because it would be fatal to the advancement and final elevation of 
the negroes themselves. 

Thus, then, I have shown, and, as it seems to me, satisfactorily, 
how the prophecy of Noah has been truly fulfilled, and is still in the 


progress of fulfillment, upon the posterity of Canaan, the negro race, 
according to the letter of Scripture. From that sentence there is no 
escape, until the time shall come, which I doubt not is appointed in 
the order of Providence. Like the sentence pronounced upon the 
race of Israel, the prophecy of Noah will have its allotted course, and 
no wisdom or power of man can defeat it. But the period is ap- 
proaching when the designs of the Almighty will be accomplished. 
The Jews will again occupy their own land, and Mount Zion will be 
"a praise throughout the world," and "all nations shall flow unto 
Jerusalem." The race of Canaan also shall be relieved from the 
curse, "Ethiopia shall lift up her hands unto God," and "the knowl- 
edge of the Lord shall cover the earth, as the waters do the sea." 
How long a period may elapse before this glorious consummation, is 
only known to Him who seeth the end from the beginning. It may, 
for aught that we can tell, be at the close of the present dispensation, 
which so many suppose to be nigh at hand. It may be deferred for 
several centuries. But it will come, for " the mouth of the Lord hath 
spoken it." 

And until it comes, it is our duty to submit with patient faith to 
our allotted condition. Not rebelliously warring against the will of 
the Most High, nor vainly opposing ourselves to the arrangements of 
His providence, nor accusing our brethren in Christ as sinners be- 
cause they keep in slavery the race which God saw fit to doom to 
servitude ; but doing our best, in conjunction with the precepts of 
the apostles, the rules and practice of the Church, and the Constitu- 
tion of our country, to ameliorate the condition of the slave by the 
kind and gracious influence of the Gospel. 

Believing as I do, that a thorough examination of the subject will 
lead to the result to which I have arrived, namely, that the posterity 
of Canaan are existing at this day in the African race, and compose 
the greater part of it, I am nevertheless quite aware that many of my 
readers, as well as yourself, may think the conclusion untenable from 
the fact that we hear no more of the Canaanites after the conquest of 
Palestine by ancient Israel. But this, on reflection, will be seen to 
amount to nothing. Nations, as such, are liable to many changes. 
They rise, decline, and disappear from the page of history. And yet 
the races of men remain and form other combinations, and are known 
by new names, though the people are substantially the descendants 
of the same ancestry. 


Thus, amongst the multitude of nations mentioned in the Penta- 
teuch, nearly all have passed away, yet there is not one whose popu- 
lation can be said to be extinct. We can trace the Jews, because their 
religion forbade them to commingle with any other people. We can 
trace the Edomites, because their peculiarities are found among the 
unconquered tribes of the Arabs to this day. We can trace the 
Egyptians, because their kingdom, however debased, has continued 
to exist. But the rest, though we can not trace them, and therefore 
we talk as if they were annihilated, have in reality continued to exist 
as individuals and families; and still form, by constant propagation, 
their proportion of the world's inhabitants. The same remark may be 
applied to all other cases. If we take, for example, the Commentaries 
of Caesar, we find a large number of nations specified as the com- 
munities in ancient Gaul, hardly any of which were known by the 
same names five centuries later. Yet no reasonable man can doubt 
that these were the ancestors of the Germans and the French, the 
Swiss and the Belgians, of our own period. The various races may 
intermingle, their old nationalities may undergo many mutations; 
language, manners, and customs may change ; but all this does not im- 
ply the extinction of the people. So far, therefore, as we have evi- 
dence to guide us, we have full authority for saying that no race 
which existed since the time of Noah has ceased to exist in their pos- 
terity ; although their former landmarks have been all obliterated, and 
their old appellations have long passed away. 

This being true universally, there can be no question about its 
being more especially true in the continuance of the race of Ham, 
through the line of Canaan, since it is the only race which it has 
pleased God to mark by such strong characteristics. Their doom of 
^servitude in its lowest form, their location in Africa, in the climate 
of which the races of Shem and Japheth can not long exist, their 
wonderful adaptation to that climate, their still more wonderful 
adaptation to the state of slavery, for which the mercy of Provi- 
dence seems to have qualified them beyond any other race of people 
in the known world, and, lastly, their peculiar color, which distin- 
guishes them so manifestly from the rest of the human family all 
these must serve to identify them beyond the possibility of mistake. 
And as it is an established rule among theologians that nothing proves 
the true sense of prophecy so conclusively as its fulfillment, I may 
claim the application of the maxim to these indisputable facts that 


up to this period of modern history no race but theirs has been sub- 
ject to slavery, and perfectly contented under it, for thousands of 
years. No race but theirs has been so stationary and so degraded in 
their own land. And no race but theirs has shown such a disposition 
to look up to the posterity of Shem and Japheth with admiring love, 
and cling to them with such constancy and affection. 



RIGHT REVEREND BROTHER : Resuming my extracts from the com- 
mentary of D'Oyly and Mant, I shall commence this chapter with 
some instructive remarks on the color of the human species. (Gen. 
10 : 32.) 

" Man, though white in Europe, black in Africa, yellow in Asia, 
and red in America," saith the celebrated naturalist Buffon, " is still 
the same animal, tinged only with the color of the climate. Where 
the heat is excessive, as in Guinea and Senegal, the people are per- 
fectly black ; where less excessive, as in Abyssinia, the people are 
less black ; where it is more temperate, as in Barbary and in Arabia, 
they are brown ; and where mild, as in Europe and in Lesser Asia, 
they are fair." 

" Shaw, in his travels through Barbary, found a tribe in the mount- 
ains of Auress, south of Algiers, who appeared to be of a different 
race from the Moors ; far from swarthy, their complexion is fair and 
ruddy, and their hah* a deep yellow, instead of being dark, as among 
the neighboring Moors. He conjectures that they are a remnant of 
the Vandals. And they probably retained their complexion from 
their high mountainous situation ; as the natives of Armenia, in 
Western Asia, and Cashmere, in Eastern, are fair, owing to the great 
elevation of the soil in both places, and the temperature of the climate 
occasioned thereby." 

" On the other hand, a colony of Jews settled at Cochin, on the 
Malabar coast, from a very remote period, of which they have lost 
the memory, though originally a fair people in Palestine, and from 
their customs preserving themselves unmixed, are grown as black as 
the other Malabarians, who are hardly a shade lighter than the negroes 
of Guinea. And at Ceylon, the Portuguese, who settled there only 
a few centuries ago, are degenerated and grown blacker than the orig- 
inal natives. They are in number about five thousand, still speak 
Portuguese, wear the European dress, and profess the Romish re- 


" Still there are anomalies or exceptions to the general conclusions 
of the influence of climate and customs, that must be ascribed to 
other, and perhaps, undiscovered causes, which baffle the pride of 
human sagacity to develop, and which, after all, must be resolved into 
the will and pleasure of the Creator, and deposited among the * un- 
searchable riches ' of His wisdom and providence in the variety, no 
less than in the regularity of His works." 

On Exod. 21, And he that stealeth a man and selleth him, etc., the 
commentator saith : " As liberty is equally valuable with life, the 
Jewish law, with the strictest equity, ordained that if any man were 
convicted of attempting to reduce any fellow-citizen to slavery, he 
should be punished with death." 

Here I would remark that the learned Dr. Graves, from whom this 
comment is taken, agrees with almost all the other commentators in 
restricting the law of Moses to the case of stealing a fellow-citizen, 
i. e. an Israelite. But he differs from the whole stream of human 
history, and, as I think, from common-sense, in the reason which he 
assigns for it, namely, that " liberty is equally valuable with life." 
This proposition seems to me quite untenable. Slavery, as we have 
seen, came in with war ; and it was universally held that it was a 
favor to the captive taken in battle that he should have his life spared, 
on condition of his becoming the slave of his conqueror. Hence the 
very name of servus, from servatus, viz. one saved from death, be- 
came the title of the slave, according to the Roman law and the judg- 
ment of the fathers. And no reasonable mind could hesitate as to 
the choice which the vast majority of men would make, if death or 
slavery were proffered to them. 

On Lev. 25 : 13, Ye shall return every man to his possession, etc., 
we have the following comments, in D'Oyly and Mant, viz. : 

"By appointing that, on the year of jubilee, the owner of estates 
which had been sold should return to his possession, and that every 
Israelitish slave should be at perfect liberty to return to his family, 
God wisely provided for the suppression of luxury, cruelty, and 
ambition ; for the preservation of a perfect distinction of tribes, fam- 
ilies, and genealogies ; and chiefly for ascertaining the descent of the 
future Messiah, whose more eminent deliverance, wrought for all 
mankind, was shadowed out by the privileges bestowed upon the 
Israelites, in the year of jubilee." And on v. 39, If thy brother 
that dwelleth ly thee be waxen poor, and be sold unto thee, thou shalt 


not compel him to serve as a lond-servant, we read this comment 
from Bishop Patrick: "That is," saith he, "as a slave bought from 
other nations, over whom the dominion of the Israelites icas as 
complete as over their cattle. 1 " 

On Deut. 23 : 15, " Thou shalt not deliver unto his master the 
slave that is escaped unto thee, we have the following : " That is, the 
servant not of a Hebrew, but of an alien and stranger." Bishop 
Kidder. And again: " A heathen soldier or servant who deserted 
and came over to the Israelites, with intent of turning proselyte to 
the true religion." Pyle. 

Thus far we find a reasonable degree of harmony between the 
commentary of D'Oyly and Mant, indorsed by Bishop Hobart, and 
the great body of Biblical critics which had gone before, so far as 
the Old Testament is concerned. And when we turn to the same 
commentary on the New Testament, we shall have no reason to 
complain of any substantial variation. 

Beginning with our Saviour's strong declaration in His sermon on 
the Mount, Matt. 5 : 17, " Think not that I am come to destroy the 
law and the prophets" etc., we have the following comment from the 
learned Dr. S. Clarke : " Do not think that I am come to destroy or 
abrogate the law and the prophets : no, I am not come to dissolve 
any one natural or moral obligation ; but, on the contrary, to fulfill 
what was typified, to explain what was obscure, and to complete 
what was imperfect." 

And again, from Archbishop Tillotson : " I am not come to de- 
stroy but to fulfill, to carry on the same design which was intended 
by the Jewish religion, and to perfect and accomplish it." 

On 1 Cor. 7 : 22, He that is called in the Lord, "being a servant, 
etc., we have this comment, viz. : " Though he be a slave to man, 
yet, as a Christian, he is Christ's freeman, in the most honorable 
sense of true freedom ; and the Christian who is no man's slave is 
yet a servant, and owes an absolute obedience to Christ, our common 
Lord and Master." Pyle. 

The important text in 1 Tim. 6 : 1, Let as many servants as are 
under the yoke, has these comments, viz. : "Under the yoke signifies," 
saith Dr. Whitby, " the yoke of bondage to the heathens." And 
BurJcitt is quoted in the following words : " The Apostle here par- 
ticularly directs Timothy to instruct Christian servants in the per- 
formance of the duty of obedience to their masters, whether infidels 


or Christians. Hence it appears that the Christian religion allows 
of an inequality amongst men, and as it gives to superiors the 
power of commanding, so it lays inferiors under an obligation to 

And on the Epistle to Philemon, Bishop Tomline is cited for the 
following : " The Epistle to Philemon is a plain proof that Christian- 
ity was not intended to make any alteration in the civil conditions 
of men. St. Paul considered Onesimus, although converted to the 
Gospel, as still belonging to his former master, and by deprecating 
the anger of Philemon, he acknowledged that Onesimus continued 
liable to punishment for the misconduct of which he had been guilty, 
previous to his conversion." 

The name of Bishop Davenant stands high among the worthies of 
our mother Church of England, and I shall occupy the remainder of 
this chapter with some valuable passages from his exposition of St. 
Paul's Epistle to the Colossians, translated by the Rev. Josiah All- 
port, who has added many valuable notes, and thus adorned a work 
of great merit and usefulness. The following passages embrace all 
that belongs to our subject : 

Col. 3 : 22 : Servants, obey in all things your masters according to 
the flesh, etc. " The occasion of this precept," saith Bishop Daven- 
ant, " seems to spring from the circumstance, that servants converted 
to Christianity thought themselves to be exempt from the yoke of 
servitude. Which opinion, full of error, the devil without doubt 
instilled into the minds of men, that thence he might render the 
Christian religion odious among the heathen, as a disturber of order. 
This error perhaps had some color. If masters embraced the Christ- 
ian religion together with their servants, it was unjust that they 
should still hold them as slaves whom they were bound to account 
as brethren. If masters still adhered to paganism, when their serv- 
ants were converted, it seemed much more unjust that he who had 
been delivered and redeemed from the power of the devil should 
nevertheless remain in bondage to a pagan man who himself remain- 
ed a slave to the devil. These things seemed to have an air of 
probability; but, notwithstanding, the Apostle gives a contrary 
precept, in which every word hath its weight, to demonstrate the 
equity and even the necessity of the precept." 

" Servants. He addresses Christians, and yet he still calls them 
servants, dov\oi. This word does not denote such domestics as we 


now employ, who are in reality free and free-born, although they 
serve others for hire ; but it denotes such as the ancients used, who 
were either taken in war, or bought, and7)n that account were wholly 
in the power of their masters." 

" Concerning the foundation of this servitude, whether it be just 
or violent, I shall not contend, yet it appears to have been allowed 
and established by the law of nations. Hence Aristotle asserts 
(Polit. 1, 3) that servants of this kind were nothing else than certain 
animated instruments of their masters. And even amongst the sa- 
cred writers, these servants are reckoned among the goods and pos- 
sessions of their masters, (Job 1 : 3,) and the servant is called, in 
Exod. 21 : 21, the money of his master. The Apostle, therefore, 
shows, by this very name, that they were bound to obedience, and 
on that account he adds his command, Servants, obey in all things. 

" But that is to be restricted to things lawful and honest. Right- 
ly, therefore, has Jerome put in. this exception. In all things, 
namely, saith he, in which the lord of the flesh doth not command 
contrary to the Lord of the spirit" 

" The Christian religion," continues Bishop Davenant, "does not 
subvert political order ; nay, it doth not deprive heathen masters of 
their legitimate authority over Christian servants. Therefore the 
Anabaptists err, who think all authority to be opposed to evangelical 
liberty, even of Christians over Christians." 

" But. the Christian religion frees from the yoke of human servitude 
that which is the best and most excellent thing in man, namely, the 
spirit and conscience. (See Gal. 5 : 1.) They therefore err who would 
rule the minds and consciences of men by virtue of any superiority 
and human lordship, for they are masters according to the flesh, not 
according to the spirit" 

" Christians may and ought to submit themselves according to the 
flesh, (i.e., in things external, doubtful, and temporal,) even to the 
unjust commands of those who are masters according to the flesh. 
Thus Augustine, (in Expos. Epist. ad Rom. propos. V4 :) We must 
not resist masters, although they unjustly talce from us temporal 
things. And St. Peter, 1 Epist. 11 : 18 : Be subject to your masters, 
not only to the good and gentle, but also to thefroward." 

Verse 23 : And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, 
and not unto men. "That is," saith Bishop Davenant, "to the 
Lord Christ, more than to men, because for the sake of Christ you 
serve them." 


" But why," continues he, " in these lower and external observ- 
ances, are they said to obey the Lord more than men, whose com- 
mands they serve, and whom alone they profit ?" 

" First, because they who obey are more the servants of Christ 
than of earthly masters. For earthly masters buy their servants 
with silver and gold : Christ buys them with his precious blood ; they 
redeem the body alone, and that for another service : Christ redeems 
both soul and body for perpetual liberty. They must therefore 
especially serve Christ." 

" Secondly, because they obey earthly masters only at the appoint- 
ment of Christ ; therefore they rather obey Christ than them ; not 
unlike as inferior servants who obey a steward, yet are said more to 
obey their master, at whose will they yield to his steward ; he is 
opposed if he shall order the contrary to his master." 

" Thirdly, because Christ himself hath declared that he wishes 
his servants to obey their masters, and this he strictly commands in 
his word ; and he himself also, in his wise governance and by his 
authority, hath, ordained some to service and others to dominion, 
Whilst faithful servants have respect to all these things, they are 
rightly said to serve the Lord and not men." 

Ch. 4:1: Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and 
equal. "That which is just," continues Bishop Davenant, " in this 
place, includes whatever is due to servants from legal obligation, or 
according to positive laws, and excludes whatever is contrary to the 
same. Aristotle (OEcon. 1 : 5) lays down three things as necessary 
and due to servants, their work, their sustenance, their correction. 
We shall add also a fourth, viz., their wages, which is due to our serv- 
ants, because they are not slaves, as they were formerly among the 
ancients. It pertains, therefore, to the justice of masters to render 
all these things to their servants according to due measure ; it is the 
part of injustice, or at least of folly, if they deal otherwise with 
them. For instance, in enjoining work upon a servant, he observes 
justice who neither imposes immoderate labor, nor suffers him to 
grow stupid in ease and idleness. So in allowing them sustenance, 
he who neither withholds necessary or convenient food, nor suffers 
them to indulge gluttony or drunkenness. In applying correction, 
he who does not inflict punishment upon them with a cruelty exceed- 
ing the extent of the fault, nor yet allows them to commit any crime 
with impunity. In rewarding them, he who is neither so sparing 


that they can not thereby procure for themselves necessaries, nor so 
lavish as to yield them matter for dissoluteness." 

That which is equal. " In the Greek it is equality or equability, 
which word we must not take in that sense, as if it were incumbent 
upon masters to give to their servants the same honors, the same 
obedience, which they exact from them, for well spoke Plato : To 
give equal things to unequals is inequality" 

" This word equal, therefore, does not designate the labors them- 
selves, or the duties of servants and masters, which are different and 
plainly the reverse : but it refers to the mind and manner of acting, 
which in each ought to be equal by a certain proportionate analogy. 
For instance, servants are commanded to obey their masters in single- 
ness of heart and the fear of God : now masters give them that 
which is equal when they rule them piously and religiously. Serv- 
ants are commanded to obey their masters from the heart and with 
good will : masters repay them for their services when they rule 
their servants with mildness and a sort of parental affection. There- 
fore, that we may bring the difference of these words just and equal 
in this place, under a brief view : that is called just which the law 
requires, or what is due to servants from legal obligation. That is 
called equal which charity and Christian lenity requires, or what is 
due b them from moral obligation." 

The translator in a note saith : " The reader will bear in mind that 
the word servants is used here for slaves, dovhoi, in conformity with 
the authorized version of the Bible," p. 205. But in the Latin of 
Bishop Davenant the word servus should be rendered slave or bond- 
man throughout, because this is its only proper signification. Never- 
theless, as it stands, the meaning of the writer is perfectly clear, and 
I have cited the commentary at great length because it is well worth 
your attention ; for you are aware, of course, that the author was 
one of King James's envoys to the famous Synod of Dort, and a spe- 
cial favorite with that important branch of the clergy which are 
called Evangelical by the non-conformists of England, and their suc- 
cessors in our own land. 



RIGHT REVEREND BROTHER : As I have every desire to deal frankly 
and fully with the question in controversy, I shall devote this chap- 
ter to a quotation from Dr. Jortin, which I find in the commentary 
of D'Oyly and Mant, republished by Bishop Hobart, because it 
looks favorably, like certain passages from Scott and Clarke, on 
the abolition side of the argument. 

1 Peter 2:18. Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear, 
etc. " In the time when the Gospel was first preached," saith Dr. 
Jortin, " servants for the most part were slaves, and, as many of 
them were converted to Christianity with or without their masters, 
it was to be feared lest they should take too much upon them, and 
think too well of themselves, by entering into a religion which com- 
manded all men to treat one another as brethren. This might have 
brought a discredit on the Gospel, and have been a hindrance to its 
progress. Therefore St. Peter and St. Paul earnestly exhort servants 
or slaves to obey their masters, and to be industrious and honest, 
and dutifully to serve, not only the just and gentle, but the harsh 
and froward. The law of nature knows no such tiling as slavery, for 
by nature all men are free and equal ; but by the civil laws, and by 
the practice of nations, it was established and it still continues 
amongst those who know not the Gospel ; and the more is the shame 
and the pity, it is to be found in some places where Christianity is 
professed. The religion of Christ, when it first made its progress in 
the world, left the civil laws of nations in a great measure as 'it found 
them, lest, ~by altering or repealing them, it should bring confusion 
and disturbance into human society ; but as by its own genius and 
tendency it leads men gently back to the precepts of nature and 
equity, to kindness and to mercy, it put an end, by degrees, in most 
civilized places, to that excessive distance and difference between 
masters and slaves, which owed its origin to outrage and war, to vio- 
lence and calamity ; so that in Christian countries the service which 

196 DR. JOETIN. 

is performed is usually, as it ought to be, voluntary and by agree- 
ment. But what the writers of the New Testament have said con- 
cerning slaves holds true concerning hired servants, and all those 
who are employed in other denominations under a master ; that they 
discharge their office modestly, diligently, and willingly, and act with 
faithfulness and integrity in every thing that is committed to them." 

Now here, along with much that is true, this learned and excellent 
divine has set forth some very common but not the less mischievous 
errors, and these I shall proceed to consider. 

" The law of nature knows no such thing as slavery, for "by nature 
all men are free and equal." So declared Dr. Jortin some time pre- 
vious to our celebrated Declaration of Independence, because he died 
in 1770, six years anterior to our Revolutionary War. But in the 
first place I would ask, what did he mean by the law of nature ? 
Was it the law of our creation, in Paradise, before the fall, when 
there was but one man and one woman in existence ? This would be 
preposterous, and therefore can not be pretended for a moment. It 
must then have been the law of nature after the fall, when sin had 
corrupted it. And where, in the history of that fallen nature, can 
we find that all men are free and equal f The earliest account of it 
is in the third and fourth chapters of Genesis, where the Almighty 
pronounced this sentence on Eve : " Thy desire shall be to thy hus- 
band, and he shall rule over thee." (Gen. 3 : 16.) The same principle 
meets us again in the case of Cain and Abel, for, speaking of the rela- 
tion between the elder and the younger brother, the Lord said unto 
Cain : " Unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him."' 
(Gen. 4 : 7.) Already, in this first generation of mankind, we see 
dominion and subjection, but where are the freedom and equality f 

If, from this beginning, we go on in the sacred history, what do we 
find ? Little else but contest, strife, and the struggle for dominion. 
The earth becomes filled with violence and iniquity, and the deluge 
sweeps away the flagitious race, leaving only the patriarch Noah and 
his family. And in the prophecy of Noah we have a proclamation 
of the Divine purpose, which is totally unlike this favorite hypothesis 
of ultra-abolitionism. " Cursed be Canaan, a servant of servants 
shall he be unto his brethren. Blessed be the Lord God of Shem, 
and Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth and he t 
shall dwell in the tents of Shem, and Canaan shall be his servant." 
Superiority for Shem in religious privileges, dominion over Shem by 


Japheth in temporal power, and subjection of Canaan to both, are here 
indicated. Where, again, are the freedom and equality ? 

The posterity of Noah multiplies, and the earth is divided among 
them. But immediately we find the exhibition of dominion and 
power. Nimrod, the mighty hunter, appears as the founder of the 
Assyrian empire ; the patriarchal authority, which was absolute, rules 
the tribes ; Abraham, the favorite of God, becomes a petty prince, hav- 
ing three hundred and eighteen servants born in his own house ; and 
londmen and londmaids are reckoned amongst the property of his 
children and grand- children. That slavery was generally prevalent 
appears further from the fact, that the sons of Jacob resolved to get 
rid of their own brother Joseph, by selling him to the Midianites. 
These Midianites sold him again to Potiphar. And when, after the 
death of Jacob, the brethren of Joseph feared that he would use his 
power to be revenged of their cruel conduct, " they went and fell 
down before his face ; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants." 
(Gen. 50 : 18.) Where are the freedom and equality, even among the 
sons of Israel ? 

"We read next that the descendants of Jacob multiplied in Egypt, 
where they were oppressed to the lowest point of human suffering, 
for their children " were cast out that they might not live," and the 
Almighty, in mercy, sent Moses and Aaron to deliver them, and 
make them a prosperous and independent nation in the promised 
land. And lo ! for the first and only time in the history of the world, 
the Lord condescended to provide a complete code of laws for his 
chosen people, comprehending both their religious and their civil duties. 
But here, again, though it was confessedly the most perfect system 
which mankind had ever known, yet the whole was arranged accord- 
ing to the strictest subordination. A chief ruler appointed by divine 
direction, an hereditary priesthood, a prince over every tribe, rulers 
over thousands, and hundreds, and fifties, and tens, slavery for six 
years as the result of debt or poverty, even to the free-born Israelite, 
and slavery for life, descending to the offspring, for the races of the 
surrounding heathen. 

Where, then, are we to look for this law of nature, of which Dr. 
Jortin spake, as many others now speak, under the delusive idea 
that there is good proof of its existence ? We have seen, indeed, 
that the civil law had recognized something very like it, but this was 
evidently in reference to the supposed golden age, which poets and 


philosophers among the ancients accepted as a fact, although it was 
nothing more than a fanciful amplification of the condition of man, 
either in Paradise, or in the age of the patriarch Noah, whom they 
converted into Saturn. We know, likewise, that the notion may be 
found in various writers, and that the infidel Rousseau set forth the 
superiority of the state of nature in eloquent terms, before the 
French Revolution. And we also know that the people proclaimed 
their platform of liberty, equality, and fraternity, in pursuance of his 
hypothesis ; and acted upon it, in the midst of the most bloody and 
cruel carnage, until the sword of the first Napoleon forced them to 
submit to the hand of power. As to our own assertion of it in the 
Declaration of Independence, I have already treated the matter suffi- 
ciently, in the Bible View of Slavery, and do not mean to repeat that 
argument here. But it must be obvious to all candid and thoughtful 
minds, that this favorite theory has no foundation in the facts ; and, 
judging by the existing constitution of all created things, could never 
have been consistent with the purposes of the Almighty. 

The nearest approach on earth to what men call freedom and equal- 
ity, consists in subjection to good laws. Hence, we have the best 
political condition made dependent on subjection. What compels 
this subjection ? The Government. What is the Government ? It 
is the systematic organization of force. No law is of any efficacy 
among men, unless there be a power able to execute it. But the im- 
portance of government is seen in this, that the force which it exer- 
cises is regulated by the fixed principles of justice, and intended to 
operate on every class in the community, so as to. protect their rights 
and privileges. And hence arises the duty of supporting it, as an 
obligation of indispensable necessity; because the law offeree which, 
without government, would arm every man against his neighbor, and 
make society a constant scene of anarchy and violence, becomes, un- 
der the rule of a just government, the preserver of peace, and the 
guardian of order and security. 

But there can be no government, without a certain amount of sub- 
jection, and this subjection demands the surrender, to the same ex- 
tent, of individual freedom and equality. Hence it is manifest, that 
these are incompatible with government, because it is impossible that 
any should be able to govern, unless the rest are bound to obey. 
We may say, indeed, that it is the law which governs ; but this is 
only a phrase which serves to mislead our personal pride of indepen- 


dence by an agreeable delusion. For the law is the decree of the 
legislature, and the legislature is composed of men, commissioned to 
establish their judgment, as a rule of obligation to the whole com- 
munity. And when it is established, it can not fulfill the work of 
government, unless it be administered; and the administrators are 
also men, set over the rest, in order to enforce the law on every indi- 
vidual. The administrators of the law are therefore, practically, the 
rulers the actual governors whom the community are bound to 
obey. And hence ft is plainly impossible that human society should 
exist, without dominion and subjection. 

Here, then, and not in this imaginary freedom and equality, is the 
real law of nature, because mankind have never existed, and never 
can exist, without government, and all government involves dominion 
and subjection, more or less complete. The principle is fixed by the 
Almighty Creator, and whatever be the form under which it is ex- 
hibited, the substance is the same. It begins in the family. The 
husband and the wife. The parent and the children. The master 
and the servant. The teacher and the pupil. The magistrate and 
the citizen. The captain and the sailor. The general and the army. 
The king or the viceroy, and the people. Every class and all de- 
partments demand a power to govern and an obligation to obey, and 
freedom and equality can be found nowhere. 

When we come to consider the operation of this essential prin- 
ciple of dominion and subjection in the case of human government, 
we find that it commences with our birth, and involves servitude 
for life, descending to the offspring, which is the very definition of 
slavery. But slavery is an odious word, in modern ears ; and there- 
fore I use the more acceptable term of subjection. In its practical 
character, the government exercises dominion over the labor, the 
liberty, and the life of every individual under its control. The labor 
is involved in the right of taxation, and in this form we are compelled 
to work for the government, whether we like it or not, every day, or 
pay an equivalent in property. The liberty is taken away in prisons 
and penitentiaries. The life is involved not only by the punishment 
of crime, but also by our liability to be drafted into the army, will- 
ing or unwilling, or even to be forced, by a conscription, to stand 
before the cannon's mouth, at the command of our rulers. And this 
subjection belongs to the duty of our allegiance. It continues to 


the end of our mortal existence, and attaches to our children, in per- 

But all this, you may say, is for the advantage of the people. Cer- 
tainly it is ; for I have already said that society could not exist with- 
out it. The result, however, is, that not freedom and equality, but 
DOMINION AND SUBJECTION, are essential to the best interests of man- 
kind. And therefore this is the real law of nature the law adapted 
to our nature, and to which our nature is adapted, for we can no- 
where find society constituted on any other principle, since the world 

And this is the reason why the Sacred Scriptures are so imperative 
on the duty of subjection. "Let every soul," saith St. Paul, "be 
subject to the higher powers. For there is no power but of God : the 
powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth 
the power, resisteth the ordinance of God ; and they that resist shall 
receive to themselves damnation." (Rom. 13 : 1, 2.) 

And, again, in his epistle to Titus, the Bishop of Crete, the same 
Apostle commands as follows, viz. : " Put them in mind to be subject 
to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to 
every good work." (Tit. 3:1.) 

And again, we have this most comprehensive precept from the 
Apostle Peter : " Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man, for 
the Lord's sake, whether it be to the Icing as supreme, or unto gov- 
ernors, as unto them that are sent by him, for the punishment of 
evil-doers, and for the praise of them that do well." (1 Pet. 2 : 13-14.) 

Now it is very true that in this country we have no " king as su- 
preme," and yet we are none the less bound by the Apostle's injunc- 
tion ; because we have a Constitution, the sixth article of which es- 
tablishes the standard of our subjection in these words, viz. : 

" This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall 
be made in pursuance thereof, and all treaties which shall be made, 
under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law 
of the land, and the judges in every State shall be bound thereby, 
any thing in the constitution or laws of any State to the contrary not- 

The President, before he enters on the execution of his office, is 
bound to take an oath or affirmation, to "preserve, protect, and de- 
fend" this Constitution. (Art. 2, sec. 1.) 

" The judicial power of the United States shall be vested in one 


Supreme Court and shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, 
arising under this Constitution." (Art. 3, sec. 1 and 2.) 

" The senators and representatives, and the members of the several 
State legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the 
United States and of the several States, shall be bound by oath or 
affirmation to support this Constitution" (Art. 6.) 

And in this Constitution, slavery is recognized and regarded as 
a standing institution, first, in Article 1, Section 2, where three 
fifths of the slaves are taken as the basis for the elective franchise ; 
and secondly, in Article 4, Section 2, where fugitives, escaping from 
one State to another, are directed to be " delivered up on claim of 
the party to whom their service or labor is due." Such is the set- 
tled interpretation of the Supreme Court, and of Congress in their 
legislation on the subject. And it admits of no dispute. Twelve 
out of the thirteen States which adopted the Constitution were Slave 
States at the time. And although Massachusetts had abolished 
slavery, yet her delegation, along with that of the other Eastern 
States, insisted on continuing the slave-trade for twenty years more, 
against the wishes of Virginia. 

Here, therefore, in this Constitution of the United States, is the 
supreme dominion on all those subjects for which it was designed. 
And to this, accordingly, the command of the Apostle applies. To 
this, every naturalized foreigner is obliged to swear allegiance. To 
this, every native citizen is bound, by his birth, to be loyal. You 
are bound by it. I am bound by it. Every citizen in the land is 
bound by it, from the President down to the humblest laborer on the 
soil. And therefore with us, the Constitution is the king, and the 
President is the prime minister. 

Is there any power in these United States which can absolve me from 
this obligation ? Suppose the President were to desire it which I 
should be very sorry to impute to him could he do so ? Clearly 
not ; for how can he absolve the citizen from a duty which he was 
obliged, by oath, to take upon himself, before he could enter upon 
his eminent office ? If he is sworn to "preserve, protect, and defend" 
the Constitution, by what imaginable right can he authorize me to 
violate it ? 

Can Congress absolve me from this obligation ? I answer, No ; for 
the same reason. The power of Congress, like the power of the 
President, is exercised only by virtue of the Constitution. The mem- 


bers of the Senate and the House of Representatives are all bound 
by the same oath. And it would be an absurdity, surpassing all 
other absurdities, to suppose that a subordinate authority, created 
by the Constitution, should have a right to nullify the provisions of 
the very law on which it depends for its only power to legislate at all. 

But we have been told that there is a " higher law," above the 
Constitution. And this, to the Christian, is certainly true. The 
Almighty " Law -giver, who is able to save and to destroy " the 
glorious God, whose government rules the universe, whose throne is 
the heavens, and the earth his footstool the all-wise and absolute 
Ruler, on whose decree the destiny of nations and of individuals is 
alike dependent He has given us his unerring commands to be our 
guide, and in His Word we have the plainest directions on this very 
question. For there, as I have just shown, His inspired apostles re- 
quire us to be " subject to the higher powers" and declare, moreover* 
that " whosoever resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God, 
and they who resist, shall receive to themselves damnation." 

Yet this, as all men acknowledge, refers only to those matters in which 
the laws of earth do not contradict the laws of heaven ; for no one 
doubts that in case of a conflict between those laws, " we must obey 
God rather than man." Happily, however, the only point on which 
the ultra-abolitionist desires to trample on the Constitution, namely, 
slavery, is specifically provided for in the Bible ; and the same apos- 
tles who command us to be subject to the higher powers, command 
the slave to be obedient and faithful to his master, and the master to 
be kind to his slave, while one of them, St. Paul, adopts a fugitive 
slave-law for himself, and, of his own accord, sends Onesimus back 
again to his legal owner. 

Thus Christianity itself enforces the dominion of the Constitution, 
and I am bound to be subject to it, " not only for wrath, but also for 
conscience' sake," (Rom. 13 : 5,) and hence loyalty to that Constitu- 
tion becomes a dictate of my religion. How any man can consider 
it a part of his religion to oppose it how any officer of the Govern- 
ment can suppose it consistent with conscience to swear that he will 
support the Constitution, and yet make it his business to break it 
down how any minister of the Gospel can lend his influence to sus- 
tain such a course, and even to brand an honest effort to justify the 
Constitution, as " unworthy of any servant of Jesus Christ," and an 
act which " challenges indignant reprobation " these are things 


which you may think yourself able to explain. But for my own part, 
I regard them as the most astounding facts in the modern history of 
human delusion and perversity. 

But now I return to Dr. Jortin, in order to take a brief survey of 
his remaining statements about slavery. He saith that it " still 
continues among those that know not the Gospel, and the more is 
the shame and the pity, it is to be found in some places where Christ- 
ianity is professed" 

Now as to the shame, why did he not extend it to the Apostles, 
whom he admits to have sanctioned its continuance ? For he ac- 
knowledges that " St. Peter and St. Paul earnestly exhort servants 
or slaves to obey their masters, and to be industrious and honest, 
and dutifully to serve, not only the just and gentle, but the hard and 
froward." And he tells us that " the religion of Christ, when it first 
made its progress in the world, left the civil laws of nations in a 
great measure as it found them, lest ly altering or repealing them, 
it should bring confusion and disturbance into human society" Is 
it not manifest that the same reason ought to have influenced the 
Christian ministers of our day to follow the Apostle's example ? Was 
it possible for any man in his sober senses to believe that the 
dogmas of our ultra-abolitionists could prevail without " bringing 
confusion and disturbance into human society" ? Alas ! what a 
commentary do we behold on their opposition to the course which 
Dr. Jortin, and all others, confess to have been adopted by St. Peter 
and St. Paul ; when not merely " confusion and disturbance," but 
the sacrifice of half a million of valuable lives, and the ravages of 
the most awful desolation, and a multitude of torn and bleeding 
hearts, and the kindling of bitter hatred and deadly animosity be- 
tween those who were once friends and brethren, have marked the 
results of their insane determination ! Why could they not have 
been content with the guidance of the inspired Apostles, confirmed 
by the voice of the whole primitive Church ? Why must they de- 
nounce, as " a covenant with death and an agreement with hell," the 
Constitution of their country ? Why could they not be subject to 
that " supreme law of the land," which they were bound to support 
by every rule of religious and civil obligation, and suffer our noble 
Union to continue in harmony and peace ? 

With regard to the " pity" of Dr. Jortin, I shall only say that he 
ought to have known the condition of the negro slaves under the cruel 

204 DR. JORTIN. 

and heathen yoke of African slavery, as subjects to the Icing of Da- 
homey, before he pitied their state in the hands of their Christian 
masters. If he had duly reflected upon this, he would perhaps have 
discovered that, instead of being pitied for the change, it was rather 
a subject for devout thankfulness to the mercy of God, who, in His 
Providence, had saved so many of that barbarous and wretched race, 
and given them a. lot so much more elevated and hopeful. 

His subsequent statement, that slavery was abolished through the 
growing influence of the Gospel, is one of the popular fallacies which 
I shall consider by and by, and prove it to be entirely inconsistent 
with the facts of history. And I shall close this long chapter by 
expressing my surprise that the excellent Bishop Hobart, when he 
republished the Commentary of D'Oyly and Mant, should have re- 
tained an extract, which, however it might agree with the constitu- 
tional safety of England, was plainly unsuited to the harmony and 
welfare of these United States ; besides being in utter discordance 
with the teaching of the Apostles, and the voice of the universal 
Church, for eighteen centuries together. 



RIGHT REVEREND BROTHER : As I consider freedom and equality 
to be the popular idols of the age, especially in our own country, I 
shall recur to them again, because the subject is by no means ex- 
hausted. But before I resume these topics, I must complete my 
extracts from the modern Protestant commentators, the next on the 
list being the learned and candid Presbyterian, Macknight, whose 
"New Translation, Paraphrase, and Notes on the Epistles" are held 
in just and universal estimation. 

On the text in 1 Cor. 7 : 20, 24, Let every man abide in the same 
calling wherein he was called. Art thou called being a servant ? 
Care not for it; ~but if thou mayest he made free, use it rather, our 
author gives the following paraphrase : 

" Since the Gospel makes no alteration in metis political state, 
let every Christian remain in the same political state in which he 
was called. Agreeably to this rule, wast thou called, being a bond- 
man? Be not thou solicitous to be made free, fancying that a 
bondman is less the object of God's favor than a freeman. Yet, if 
thou canst even be made free by any lawful method, rather obtain 
thy freedom." 

And on v. 24, Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, there- 
in abide with God, he gives this interpretation : " Brethren, whether 
in a state of bondage or of freedom each one was called, in that let 
him remain, while he remains with God ; that is, while he remains a 
Christian." And in the notes, he states that "this exhortation, 
which is three times given in the compass of the discourse, was in- 
tended to correct the disorders among the Christian slaves at Corinth, 
who, agreeably to the doctrine of the false teachers, claimed their 
liberty, on pretense that as brethren in Christ, they were on an 
equality with their Christian masters." 

On Eph. 6 : 5, 9, Servants, "be obedient to them that are your mas- 
ters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, etc., Dr. Mac- 
knight presents this statement, viz. : 


44 As the Gospel does not cancel the civil rights of mankind, I say 
to bond-servants, Obey your masters, who have the property of your 
body, with fear and trembling, as liable to be punished by them for 
disobedience ; obey, also, from the integrity of your own disposition, 
as obeying Christ, (v. 6.) Do this, not merely when their eye is 
upon you, or they are to examine your works as those do whose 
sole care it is to please men ; but as bondmen of Christ, doing the 
will of God in this matter from the Lord ; that is, diligently, (v. 7.) 
With cheerfulness do your duty to your earthly masters, as servants 
to the Lord Christ : for in serving them faithfully, ye serve him ; 
and therefore do not consider yourselves as servants to men only." 
(Verse 8.) " And that ye may be supported under the hardships of 
your lot, recollect what your religion teaches you, that whatever 
good action any man does, though he should receive no reward from 
men, he shall receive at the judgment a reward from Christ, whether 
he be a slave or a freeman." (v. 9.) " And masters, behave in the 
same benevolent conscientious manner towards your slaves : give 
them all things necessary with good will, not aggravating the miseries 
of their condition by the terror of punishment, but moderating threat- 
ening ; knowing that the Lord even of you yourselves is in heaven on 
the throne of God, and that in judging his servants, respect of persons 
is not with him : He will reward or punish every one according to 
his real character." 

In his notes on the Epistle to the Colossians, ch. 3, v. 22, Servants, 
obey in all things your masters, etc., this learned commentator makes 
the following remarks on our English version : 

" Though the word douAof properly signifies a slave, our English 
translators, hi all the places where the duties of slaves are inculcated, 
have justly translated it servant ; because anciently the Greeks and 
Romans had scarce any servants but slaves, and because the duties 
of the hired servant, during the time of his service, are the same 
with those of the slave. So that what the Apostle said to the slave, 
was in effecfsaid to the hired servant. In this," continues Dr. Mac- 
knight, " and the parallel passage, Ephes. 6 : 5, the Apostle is very 
particular in his precepts to slaves and lords, because, in all the coun- 
tries where slavery was established, many of the slaves were exceed- 
ingly addicted to fraud, lying, and stealing, and many of the masters 
were tyrannical and cruel to their slaves. Perhaps also he was thus 
particular in his precepts to slaves, because the Jews held perpetual 


slavery to be unlawful, and because the Judaizing teachers propa- 
gated that doctrine in the Church. But from the Apostle's precepts 
it may be inferred, that if slaves are justly acquired, they may ~be 
lawfully retained,; as the Gospel does not make void any of the 
political rights of mankind" 

I proceed, next, to the 1st Epistle of St. Paul to Timothy, ch. 6, v. 
1-4, Let as many servants as are under the yoke, etc., on which our 
commentator gives the following paraphrase, viz. : 

"Let whatever Christian slaves are under the yoke of unbe- 
lievers, pay their own masters all respect and obedience, that the 
character of God whom we worship may not be calumniated, and 
the doctrine of the Gospel may not be evil spoken of, as tending to 
destroy the political rights of mankind." 

(V. 2.) " And those Christian slaves who have believing masters, 
let them not despise them, fancying that they are their equals, be- 
cause they are their brethren in Christ : for, though all Christians are 
equal as to religious privileges, slaves are inferior to their masters in 
station. Wherefore, let them serve their masters more diligently, 
because they who enjoy the benefit of their service are believers and 
beloved of God. These things teach and exhort the brethren to prac- 
tice them." 

(V. 3.) "If any one teach differently, hy affirming that, under the 
Gospel, slaves are not hound to serve their masters, hut ought to he 
made free, and does not consent to the wholesome commandments 
which are our Lord Jesus Christ's, and to the doctrine of the Gospel, 
which in all points is conformable to true morality," (v. 4,) " he is 
puffed up with pride, and knoweth nothing, either of the Jewish or 
the Christian revelation, although he pretends to have great know- 
ledge of both. From all such impious teachers withdraw thyself, 
and do not dispute with them." 

And in the notes on the first and second rerses, Dr. Macknight 
saith that, " By ordering Timothy to teach slaves to continue with 
and obey their masters, the Apostle hath showed that the Christian 
religion neither alters metis rank in life, nor abolishes any right to 
which they are entitled, hy the law of nature or hy the law of the 
country wherein they live." " Instead of encouraging slaves to dis- 
obedience, the Gospel makes them more faithful and conscientious. 
And by sweetening the temper of masters, and inspiring them with 
benevolence, it renders the condition of slaves more tolerable than 


formerly. For in proportion as masters imbibe the true spirit of the 
Gospel, they will treat their slaves with humanity, and even give 
them their freedom when their services merit such a favor." 

This is the language of truth, of justice, and of right reason ; and 
it not only agrees-with the teaching of the apostles, but it is also the 
doctrine of the Church from the beginning, combining the reverence 
due to established law and order, with "peace and good-will to 

And now I come to this fair and judicious commentator's views of 
the Epistle to Philemon, which it has become the fashion of late, 
amongst a considerable portion of the professed ministers of Christ, 
to wrest entirely from its old and true meaning. These are his words, 
viz. : 

" Onesimus, a slave, on some disgust, having run away from his 
master Philemon, came to Rome ; and falling into want, as is sup- 
posed, he applied to the Apostle, of whose imprisonment he had 
heard, and with whose benevolent disposition he was well acquainted, 
having, as it seems, formerly seen him in his master's house. Or, 
the fame of the Apostle's preaching and miracles having drawn Onesi- 
mus to hear some of the many discourses, which he delivered in his 
own hired house in Rome, these made such an impression on him that 
he became a sincere convert to the Christian faith. For the Apostle 
calls him, (v. 9,) his son whom he had begotten in his bonds. After his 
conversion, Onesimus abode with the Apostle, and served him with 
the greatest assiduity and affection. But being sensible of his fault 
in running away from his master, he wished to repair that injury 
by returning to him. At the same time being afraid that on his re- 
turn, his master would inflict on him the punishment which, by the 
law or custom of Phrygia, was due to a fugitive slave, and which, as 
Grotius says, he could inflict without applying to any magistrate, 
he besought the Apostle .to write to Philemon, requesting him to for- 
give and receive him again into his family." 

" To account for the solicitude which the Apostle showed in this 
affair, we must not, with some, suppose that Philemon was keen and 
obstinate in his resentments. But rather that having a number of 
slaves, on whom the pardoning of Onesimus too easily might have 
had a bad effect, he might judge seme punishment necessary as a 
warning to the rest. At least the Apostle could not have considered 
the pardoning of Onesimus as a matter which merited so much earnest 


entreaty with a person of Philemon's piety, benevolence, and grati- 
tude, unless he had suspected him to have entertained some such 

" What the Apostle wrote to Philemon on this occasion is highly 
worthy of our notice, namely, that although he had'great need of an 
affectionate honest servant to minister to him in his bonds, such as 
Onesimus was, and although, if Onesimus had remained with him 
he would only have discharged the duty which Philemon himself 
owed to his spiritual father ; yet the Apostle would by no means de- 
tain Onesimus without Philemon's leave, because it belonged to him 
to dispose of his own slave in the way he thought proper. Such was 
the Apostle's regard to justice and to the rights of mankind" 

This language is clear and conclusive. But I shall make one 
extract more to sum up the whole. 

" Chrysostom," saith Dr. Macknight, " hath showed several excel- 
lent uses which may be made of this epistle, to which I add some 
others, namely, that although no article of faith is professedly hand- 
led in this epistle, and no precepts for the regulation of our conduct 
be directly delivered in it, yet the allusions to the doctrines and pre- 
cepts of the Gospel found in it may be improved in various respects 
for regulating our conduct. For it is therein insinuated, 1. That all 
Christians are on a level. Onesimus, the slave, on becoming a Christ- 
ian, is the Apostle's son and Philemon's brother. 2. That Christ- 
ianity makes no alteration in men's political state. Onesimus, the 
slave, did not become a freeman by embracing Christianity, but was 
still obliged to be Philemon's slave forever, unless his master gave 
him his freedom. 3. That slaves should not be taken nor detained 
from their masters without their master's consent. 4. That we 
should not contemn persons of low estate, nor disdain to help the 
meanest when it is in our power to assist them, but should love and 
do good to all men," etc. 

The fifteenth and sixteenth verses are so frequently wrested from 
their proper meaning by ultra-abolitionists, that it may be well to 
quote them with our author's paraphrase. 

(V. 15.) For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou 
shouldest receive him forever. 

(V. 16.) Not now as a servant, hut above a servant, a brother be- 
loved, specially to me, ~but how much more to thee, loth in the Jlesh 
and in the Lord. 


The paraphrase is as follows, viz. : 

(V. 15.) " To mitigate thy resentment, consider that perhaps also 
for this reason he was separated from thee for a little while, that thou 
mightest have him thy slave for life." 

(V. 16.) " No longer as a slave only, but above a slave, even a be- 
loved Christian brother, especially to me who know his worth, and 
have been indebted to him for his services : how much more to thee 
as a brother, both by nation and by religion, who will serve thee with 
more understanding, fidelity, and affection than before" 

And in the note on the 2nd verse the commentator saith that " By 
telling Philemon that he would now have Onesimus forever, the Apos- 
tle intimated to him his firm persuasion that Onesimus would never 
any more run away from him." 

These extracts are abundantly sufficient to prove the general ac- 
cordance of the author with the primitive school of the ancient fathers. 
And little more remains to complete the list of our modern Protestant 

ALFORD. 211 


RIGHT REVEREND BROTHER : From the well-known volumes of the 
Presbyterian divine, Dr. Macknight, I proceed to the critical and 
exegetical commentary on the Greek Testament, by Henry Alford, 
B.D., Dean of Canterbury, Third London Edition of 1857, a work of 
extraordinary learning and most extensive research. Here I find an 
interesting passage in which the old interpretation of St. Chrysostom 
is vindicated, in opposition to the majority of the modern expositors. 
The text is in St. Paul's first Epistle to the Corinthians, ch. 7 : 21 : 
"Art thou called being a servant? Care not for it ; but if thou 
mayest le made free, use it rather" And this is Dean Alford' s 
exegesis, viz. : 

" Wert thou called (converted) a slave, let it not be a trouble to 
thee, but if thou art even able to become free, use it (i. e., remain in 
slavery) rather. This rendering, which is that of Chrys., Theodoret, 
Theophyl., Oecum., Phot, Camerar., Estius, Wolf, Bengel, Meyer, De 
Wette, and others, is required by the usage of the particles. It is 
also required by the context, for the burden of the whole passage is : 
' Let each man remain in the state in which he was called.' It would 
be quite inconsistent with the teaching of the Apostle that in Christ 
freeman and slave are all one, (Gal. 3 : 28,) and with his remarks 
on the urgency and shortness of the time in this chapter, to turn out 
of his way to give a precept merely of worldly wisdom, that a slave 
should become free if he could. Christ's service is perfect freedom, 
and the Christian's freedom is the service of Christ. But here the 
Apostle takes, in each case, one member of this double antithesis 
from the outer world, one from the spiritual. The (actual) slave is 
(spiritually) free. The ( (actually) free is a (spiritual) slave. So that 
the two are so mingled, in the Lord, that the slave need not trouble 
himself about his slavery, nor seek for this world's freedom, seeing 
he has a more glorious freedom in Christ, and seeing also that his 


Jbrethren, who seem to be free in this world, are in fact Christ's serv- 
ants, as Tie is a servant" 

In the Prolegomena of the same author on the Epistle to Philemon, 
(vol. iii. p. 113,) we read as follows, viz. : " Onesimus, a native of 
Colosse, the slave of Philemon, had absconded, after having, as it 
appears, defrauded his master, (ver. 18.) He fled to Rome and there 
was converted to Christianity by St. Paul. Being persuaded, J)y him 
to return to his master, he was furnished with this letter to recom- 
mend him, now no longer merely a servant, but a brother also, to 
favorable reception by Philemon." 

I conclude this long array of authorities with some eloquent and 
very admirable extracts from the late work of the Rev. Chr. Words- 
worth, D.D., Canon of Westminster, entitled, " The New Testament 
of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, in the original GreeTc,, with 
Notes" London Edition of 1859, where he speaks thus, on the Epis- 
tle to Philemon, in Part iii, p. 327 : 

" Some persons in ancient times expressed surprise that this short 
Epistle, addressed to a private person on a private occasion, should 
be publicly read in the Church, and be received as a part of Canonical 

" But the world's history has fully justified the Church in this 

"In the age when it was written, Europe was filled with slaves. 
Wheresoever the word * servants ' occurs in the New Testament, we 
must understand 'slaves' slaves purchased with money or taken in 
war, or reared from slaves in the house of their master. Phfygia, 
in which ColossaB was situated, was the land of slaves. A Phrygian 
was another word for a slave. Nothing could be more miserable 
than their condition." 

" But Christianity was for all. How would it affect them ? What 
would it do for them ? Would it leave them in their present misery ? 
Would it mitigate the rigor of their sufferings ? And if so, by what 
means ?" 

" The answer to these questions is supplied by the EPISTLE TO 

" That shoTt letter, dictated from * the hired house ' of the aged 
Apostle, a prisoner at Rome, may be called a^ divine Act of Emanci- 
pation ; one far more powerful than any edict of Manumission pro- 
mulgated by sovereigns and senates ; an Act, from whose sacred 


principles all human statutes for the abolition of slavery derive their 
virtue ; an Act which, by its silent influence, such as characterizes 
all genuine reformations, gradually melted away and thawed the 
hardships of slavery, by softening and warming the heart of the mas- 
ter with the pure and holy flame of Christian love ; an Act which, 
while it thus ameliorated the condition of the slave, not only did not 
impair the just rights of the master, lut greatly improved them, by 
dignifying service, and by securing obedience to man as a duty done 
to Christ, and to be hereafter rewarded by him, and by changing the 
fearful slave into an honest servant and a faithful brother, and by 
binding every Onesimus in bonds of holy communion with every 
Philemon, in the mystical body of Christ, in the fellowship of the 
same prayers, and of the same Scriptures and sacraments, in the 
worship of the same Lord, and in the heritorship of the same 

" Therefore the writing of this short letter was like a golden era in 
the history of mankind. Happy is it for the world that this Epistle, 
dictated by the Holy Ghost, has ever been read in the Church as 
Canonical Scripture. And every one who considers the principles 
laid down in this Epistle, and reflects on the reformation they have 
wrought in the domestic and social life of Europe and the world, and 
on the felicitous results which would flow from them in still greater 
abundance if they were duly received and observed, will acknowledge, 
with devout thankfulness to God, that inestimable benefits, civil 
and temporal as well as spiritual, have been conferred on the world 
by Christianity." 

"St. Paul did not constrain Philemon to emancipate his slave 
Onesimus, but he inculcated such principles as divested slavery of 
its evils. The Gospel of Christ, as preached by the holy Apostle, 
did not exasperate the slave-owner by angry invectives, and by con- 
tumacious and contemptuous sarcasms. It did not embitter him 
against the slave, and injure the interests of the slave himself by an 
acrimonious advocacy of his rights, and by a violent and intemperate 
partisanship, and thus inflict damage and discredit on the sacred 
cause of Emancipation. But, by Christianizing the master, the Gos- 
pel enfranchised the slave. It did not legislate about mere names 
and forms, but it went to the root of the evil, it spoke to the heart 
of man. When the heart of the master was filled with divine grace, 
and was warmed with the love of Christ, the rest would soon follow. 


The lips would speak kind words, the hand would do liberal things. 
Every Onesimus would be treated by every Philemon as a beloved 
brother in Christ." 

" Here is the genuine specific for the abolition of slavery. Here 
also is the true groundwork for the extinction of caste in India. It is 
to be found in the Incarnation of the Son of God, and in the incor- 
poration of all nations and families of the earth in the mystical 
Body of Christ Wise will be the Sovereigns, Senates, and States, 
who recognize this truth." 

To this quotation, which is worthy of all praise, I shall only add 
the comments of the same author on St. Paul's first Epistle to Timo- 
thy, ch. 6 : v. 1 : " Let as many servants as are under the yoke, count 
their own masters worthy of all honor" etc. 

"St. Paul here," saith Dr. Wordsworth, "combats and condemns 
that false teaching which, under color of preaching the doctrines of 
Universal Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity in Christ, enlisted the 
passions of slaves against masters, and subjects against their rulers, 
and thus exposed the Name of God and the doctrine of the Gospel 
to reproach and blasphemy from the Heathen, as if it were a religion 
of anarchy and sedition, and ministered to man's evil appetites and 
love of lucre, under the name of piety and godliness." 

"These anarchical doctrines were a natural product of a diseased 
Judaism. The Jews, supposing themselves to be the favored people 
of God, resented all secular rule as an usurpation on the prerogatives 
of Jehovah. Their Rabbis taught that it was a sinful thing to own 
any mortal master, and to be bond-servants to heathens." 

" They might, therefore, in hatred to Christianity, maliciously per- 
vert x the doctrines of the Gospel to purposes congenial to their own 
notions ; or they might, even unwittingly, so misunderstand and mis- 
interpret them, as to render them hateful to society, and subversive 
of civil government and of domestic peace." 

"The great Apostle had, therefore, a difficult task to perform, in 
vindicating and maintaining, on the one side, the great doctrine of 
Christian Liberty against some of the Judaizers ; and in asserting 
and upholding the duty of Christian subjection, on the other hand, 
against those of the same class who abused the sacred name of Lib- 
erty into a plea for licentiousness." 

" How beautifully does the divine wisdom, charity, and courage, 


with which the holy Apostle was endued, shine forth in the execution 
of this difficult work in his Epistles I" 

" The relative duty of masters and slaves is to be home by both 
parties. Each of the two takes hold of it at its own end, and like the 
fruitful cluster of the grapes of Eshcol, (Num. 13 : 23,) it is to be car- 
ried on the shoulders of both. And, like that cluster, this burden is 
also a benefit. St. Paul will not flatter masters at the expense of 
their slaves, nor slaves at the expense of their masters. Each is to 
be a benefactor to the other. The master owes food and wages to the 
slave ; the slave owes faithful service to the master." 

" The force and wisdom of this Apostolic teaching will be more 
evident and impressive, when it is borne in mind that these words of 
St. Paul, addressed to the Bishop of Ephesus, would be listened to 
by masters and slaves, gathered together in the Church, and hearing 
this Epistle publicly read in the religious congregations at Ephesus 
and other great cities of the world." 

"If any man, under color of Christian liberty, teaches otherwise, 
and exempts slaves from obedience to their masters, St. Paul, in holy 
indignation, inveighs against such a man, as one that is proud and 
Jcnoweth nothing, but doteth about questions and strifes of words." 

" The false teachers ingratiated themselves with slaves, and other 
dependents, by flattering them, that because all men are equal and 
brethren in Christ, therefore they need not be subject to their mas- 
ters ; or that, if they were subject, they had a claim to greater tem- 
poral advantages than they enjoyed ; and thus they excited slaves to 
disobedience, and made the profession of the Gospel to be a matter 
of secular traffic and worldly lucre." 

" St. Paul commands masters to give to their slaves what is just 
and equal, (Col. 4 : 1,) but he also teaches slaves this lesson : If a 
man have food and raiment, let him be therewith content." 

With these excellent comments of the Rev. Canon Wordsworth, I 
concur most heartily ; in fervent thankfulness to God, that up to the 
year 1859, our venerated mother Church of England has proclaimed 
none other but the pure doctrine of the Apostles, and that her latest 
utterance is in harmony with the only divine standard of wisdom, 
truth, and peace. 



RIGHT REVEREND BROTHER : Before I conclude the survey of the 
Scriptures, it may be well to notice a perversion, which it is becoming 
quite common to urge, as a convincing argument, on behalf of ultra- 
abolitionism. I allude to the favorite quotation from the prophet 
Isaiah, 58 : 6 : "Is not this the fast that I have chosen f To loose 
the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the 
oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke J " This is applied, 
without hesitation, to the case of the slaves ; and some of our modern 
wise men even consider it to be a divine repeal of the law previously 
laid down, for the perpetual bondage of the heathen races, by the 
express authority of the God of Israel ! 

There is something so absurd in the idea that a formal law, set 
forth repeatedly by the Almighty, should be repealed by words like 
these, which do not refer to it all, and are susceptible of quite a 
different application, that I should not have thought it worthy of 
notice, if it were not manifest that it passes for sound reasoning with 
the popular mind. It is indeed a sad proof of the low state of rever- 
ence towards the Word of God which permits such a wresting of 
the Scriptures, not only by laymen, but by many of those who are 
the commissioned servants of the sanctuary. 

I shall show, therefore, by direct proof, that this novel commentary 
on the language of the prophet is totally unwarranted. The true 
state of the matter is this. The Israelites were expressly directed, by 
the divine law, to buy slaves of the heathen, and to hold them as an 
inheritance for themselves and their posterity forever. Hence, as we 
have seen, those slaves were not set free at the Jubilee, the benefits 
of which were wholly confined to the children of Israel, who had a 
family and a possession in the land to which they might return. But 
with respect to the servitude of their own brethren, they were as ex- 
pressly forbidden to hold them in bondage longer than six years ; 
and at the expiration of that time they were commanded to set them 


free, either at the seventh year, which was the year of release, or, if 
that season intervened, at the year of Jubilee. It often happened, 
however, that the Jews violated this law, and continued the yoke of 
bondage over their own brethren, and grievously oppressed them, 
long after the period when they were entitled to their freedom. This 
was the abuse against which the prophets uttered their strong de- 
nunciations, by the direction of the Lord. The case of the heathen 
races, whom they were authorized by the Almighty to retain in per- 
petual slavery, was not contemplated in any way. And hence we 
may see the glaring inconsistency of this modern misapplication, be- 
cause it makes the Deity contradict himself, and sets one part of his 
Word in direct opposition to the other. 

In order to place this matter, therefore, in its proper light, we have 
only to look at the case as it stands fully exemplified in the book of 
the prophet Jeremiah 34 : 8-17. The passage is long, but I shall 
present it in its own integrity : 

" This is the word that came unto Jeremiah from the Lord, after 
that the King Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people 
which were in Jerusalem, to proclaim liberty unto them, that every 
man should let his man-servant, and every man his maid-servant, 
being an Hebrew or a Hebrewess, go free, that none should save 
himself of them, to wit, of a Jew Ms "brother. Now when all the 
princes and all the people which had entered into the covenant heard 
that every one should let his man-servant, and every one his maid- 
servant go free, that none should serve themselves of them any more, 
then they obeyed and let tliem go. But afterwards they turned, 
and caused the servants and the handmaids whom they had let go 
free, to return, and brought them into subjection for servants and for 
handmaids. Therefore the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah from 
the Lord, saying : Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel : I made a 
covenant with your fathers in the day that I brought them forth out 
of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondmen, saying : At the 
end of seven years, let ye go every man his brother an Hebrew which 
hath been sold unto thee, and when he hath served thee six years, 
thou shalt let him go free from thee ; but your fathers hearkened not 
unto me, neither inclined their ear. And ye were now turned and 
had done right in my sight, in proclaiming liberty every man to his 
neighbor, and ye had made a covenant before me in the house that 
is called by my name. But ye turned and polluted my name, and 


caused every man his servant, and every man his handmaid, whom 
he had set at liberty at their pleasure, to return, and brought them 
into subjection, to be unto you for servants and for handmaids. 
Therefore thus saith the Lord : Ye have not hearkened unto me, in 
proclaiming liberty, every one to his brother, and every man to his 
neighbor ; behold I proclaim a liberty for you, saith the Lord, to the 
sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine, and I will make you to 
be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth," etc. 

Here we have a plain statement of the oppression for which the 
Jews were so often rebuked by the prophets. It was oppression 
practiced upon their own brethren the Hebrews, against the express 
law of the Almighty, and had no relation whatever to the slaves of 
the heathen races, whom they were directly authorized to hold in 
bondage, as an inheritance for themselves and their children, in per- 
petuity. Thus we find that there is no inconsistency in the Bible. 
It is only those modern interpreters, choosing, in the very face of 
the sacred record, to set the Old Testament at variance with itself 
on this subject, who are unhappily employed, however unconsciously, 
in bringing confusion into the Word of God, and forging weapons for 
the use of infidelity. 

So plain is this matter, that it is hardly necessary to state the 
opinions of commentators. Yet, to remove all possibility of doubt, I 
shall set down a few. 

Thus, in D'Oyly and Mant, we read, (Jer. 34 : 8,) "By the law of 
Moses, (Exod. 21 : 2, Deut. 15 : 12,) the Israelites were not allowed 
to detain their brethren in perpetual bondage, but were required to 
let them go free after having served six years. This law, it seems, 
had fallen into disuse ; but King Zedekiah, upon the approach of the 
Chaldean army, whether from religious motives, or a political view to 
employ the men who were set free in the service of the war, engaged 
the people to act conformably to the law, and they released their 
brethren accordingly. But no sooner were their fears abated by the 
retreat of the Chaldeans, than, in defiance of every principle of reli- 
gion, honor, and humanity, they imposed the yoke of servitude anew 
upon those unhappy persons." 

So in Scott's commentary on the same passage : " The law of 
liberating Hebrew slaves, at the end of seven years, was an express 
condition of the national covenant. The seventh year was the year 
of release, (Deut. 15 : 9,) consequently servants were to continue in 


service but six years, and at the beginning of the seventh, were to be 
let go free." 

So Clarke's commentary, on the eleventh verse : *' They had agreed 
to manumit them at the end of the seventh year, but when the 
seventh year was ended, they recalled their engagement, and detained 
their servants." And on the seventeenth verse, I proclaim a liberty 
for you, etc., the paraphrase of Clarke is this, " You promised to 
give liberty to your enslaved brethren : I was pleased and bound the 
sword in its sheath. You broke your promise, and brought them 
again into bondage. I gave liberty to the Sword," etc. 

So in the Comprehensive Commentary, "When Jerusalem was 
closely besieged by the Chaldean army, the princes and people agreed 
on a reformation in one thing, and that concerning their servants. 
The law of God was very express that those of their own nation 
should not be held in servitude above seven years, whether they had 
sold themselves into servitude for the payment of their debts, or 
were sold by the judges for the punishment of their crimes. Whereas 
those of other nations, taken in war or bought with money, might be 
held in perpetual slavery, they and theirs," etc. 

So Henry, in his commentary, and in his remarks on Is. 58 : 6, 
saith, the Jews "were as covetous and unmerciful as ever. ' Ye 
exact all your labors from your servants, and will neither release 
them according to the law, nor relax the rigor of their servitude.* 
This was their fault before the captivity. (Jer. 34 : 8-9.) It was 
no less their fault after their captivity." (Neh. 5 : 2.) 

So far, then, was this passage about breaking every yoke a repeal 
of the divine law, that the sin of the Israelites consisted in their dis- 
obedience to that law precisely as it stood ; and for that disobedience 
the Almighty, by the mouth of His prophets, strongly rebukes them. 
Even the commentators who have written since the abolition excite- 
ment in England, and who show, here and there, its powerful influ- 
ence,, do not intimate the slightest wish to wrest the true meaning of 
those texts. That seems to have been the task of a still later period, 
and is one of the newest inventions in Biblical interpretation which 
threaten the welfare of the Church and of the country. For I can 
imagine no transgression more odious in the sight of God, and more 
sure to forfeit His blessing, than the willful determination to distort 
His revealed Word, and make it speak, not as it truly is, but as 


men, in their insane pride of superior philanthropy, fancy that it 
ought to le. 

I have now, my Right Reverend Brother, gone over the list which 
I promised, and more; showing the general sense of the Church 
from the time of the Apostles to our own, with the exception of the 
Church of Rome, which some persons claim as being, at this day, en- 
listed on the side of ultra-abolitionism. That this is a total mistake, 
I shall prove in the next chapter. 



RIGHT REVEREND BROTHER : The Church of Rome, as you are per- 
fectly aware, ruled almost the whole continent of Europe, from the 
seventh to the sixteenth century, and, since the Reformation, still re- 
tains nearly one half of the Christian world. In very many import- 
ant questions of faith, of government, and of worship, I need hardly 
say that we differ from the Papal communion, and claim a far more 
complete accordance with the primitive Church of the first four cen- 
turies. But in matters of Christian morality, there is happily no se- 
rious difference of opinion sanctioned amongst the professed disciples 
of the blessed Redeemer. And in the lawfulness of slavery, as now 
established in the Southern States, the doctrine of the Roman Cath- 
olic is precisely the same with that of Protestants, as I shall proceed 
to prove, by the best testimony. 

The work of the late Right Reverend John England, first Bishop 
of Charleston, entitled "Letters to the Hon. John Forsyth, on the 
subject of Domestic Slavery," shall be my text-book, because I con- 
sider it of unquestionable authority. The writer was one of the 
most learned and accomplished prelates of his Church, and no one 
can fairly doubt his competency. His personal sympathies, like my 
own, were not partial to the institution, while his high official posi- 
tion, and his acknowledged eminence in literary character, give assur- 
ance that his statements are worthy of implicit confidence. My quo- 
tations are from the third volume of his works, published in Balti- 
more, A.D. 1849. 

The ultra-abolitionists who say that slaveholding is a deadly sin, 
under any circumstances, are accustomed to rely on the Apostolic 
letter of Pope Gregory XVI. dated December 3d, 1839. In that let- 
ter the Pontiff refers to the action of his predecessors, namely, of Pope 
Paul III, May 29, 1537, of Pope Urban VIII, April 22, 1639, of Pope 
Benedict XIV, Dec. 20, 1741, and also of Pope Pius VII, all directed 
against the slave-trade, which our laws pronounce to be Piracy. 


Speaking of the last of these Apostolic letters, Bishop England saith 
that " it is not at all applicable to what is known amongst us, as do- 
mestic slavery. Our holy father, Pope Gregory XVI, is not the as- 
sociate of the abolitionists." (Letter 1, p. 116.) 

" At the late Council in Baltimore," continues our author, " that 
document was formally read and accepted by the prelates of the 
United States. If it condemned our domestic slavery as an unlawful 
and consequently immoral practice, the bishops could not have ac- 
cepted it, without being bound to refuse the sacraments to all who 
were slaveholders, unless they manumitted their slaves ; yet if you 
look to the prelates who accepted the document unanimously, you 
will find that the majority of the Council were those who were in 
charge of the slaveholding portion of the Union. Amongst the most 
pious and religious of their flocks, are large sla\ eholders. The pre- 
lates under whose charge they are, have never, since the day on which 
they accepted this letter, indicated to them the necessity of adopting 
any new rule of conduct respecting their slaves. Nor did the other 
six prelates, under whose charge neither slaves nor slaveholders are 
found, express to their brethren any new views upon the subject, be- 
cause they all regarded the letter as treating of the slave-trade, and 
not as touching domestic slavery." (Let. 2, p. 116.) 

This seems to me altogether conclusive upon the construction pro- 
perly belonging to the apostolic letter of Pope Gregory XVI. For 
while there are expressions in that document which an ordinary reader 
might readily construe as relating to the Southern institution, especi- 
ally if his own mind was inclined toward the doctrine of ultra-aboli- 
tionism, yet it must be admitted that the Bishops of the Church of 
Rome are the only rightful judges of their own laws ; and the Coun- 
cil of Baltimore, consisting of all the prelates in the Union, and 
unanimously agreeing as to the true meaning of the Pontiff, with 
whom they held personal intercourse every three years in their offi- 
cial visits to Rome, could not be mistaken in a matter which con- 
cerned their pastoral duty. 

But our author proceeds to state the principles of his Church at 
large, and I shall set before you several other extracts from his trea- 
tise, which are worthy of attention. 

" The abolitionists assert," saith he, "generally, that slavery is con- 
trary to the natural law. Our theological authors lay down the prin- 
ciple that man, in his natural state, is master of his own liberty, and 


may dispose of it if he thinks fit, as in the case of a Hebrew, (Exod. 
21 : 5,) who preferred remaining with his wife and children, as a slave, 
to going into that freedom to which he had a right ; and as in the case 
of the Hebrew, (Lev. 25 : 47,) who, by reason of his poverty, would 
sell himself to a stranger." (Letter 2, p. 117-18.) 

" The existence of slavery is considered by our theologians to be as 
little incompatible with the natural law, as the existence of property. 
The sole question will be, in each case, whether the title, on which 
the dominion is claimed, is valid." (Letter 2, p. 118.) 

Speaking of his personal experience, Bishop England saith as fol- 
lows, viz. : 

" I know many slaves who would not accept their freedom. I know 
some who have refused it. And although our domestic slavery must 
upon the whole be regarded as involuntary, still the exceptions are 
not so few as are imagined by strangers." (Ib. p. 118.) 

And again, " It may be asked," saith our author, " why any one 
should prefer slavery to freedom. I know many instances where the 
advantages to the individual are very great. Yet I am not in love 
with the existence of slavery, I would never aid in establishing it 
where it did not exist. But the situation of a slave, under a humane 
master, insures to him food, raiment, and dwelling, together with a 
variety of little comforts. It relieves him from the apprehensions of 
neglect in sickness, from all solicitude for the support of his family, 
and in return, all that is required is fidelity and moderate labor. I 
do not deny that slavery has its evils, but the above are no despicable 
benefits. Hence I have known many freedmen who regretted their 
manumission." (Ib. p. 118.) 

This is strong testimony from one who was an Irishman by birth, 
who was educated amongst a people to whom African slavery was 
unknown, and yet, after he had spent years in the midst of the South- 
ern institution, and was well acquainted with its practical results, 
notwithstanding he still retained his original antipathy to it, he gives 
this candid judgment on its comparative advantages. 

Bishop England thus sums up the position of his Church in another 
passage, which is well worth transcribing, viz. : 

" Slavery, then, is regarded by that Church, of which the Pope is 
the presiding officer, not to be incompatible with the natural law, to 
be the result of sin ~by divine dispensation, to have been established 
by human legislation, and when the dominion of the slave is justly 


acquired by the master, to 2>e lawful, not only in the sight of the hu- 
man tribunal, lut also in the eye of Heaven. But not so the slave- 
trade, or the reducing into slavery the African and Indian in the man- 
ner that Portugal and Spain sanctioned, which they continue still to 
perpetrate, and which the Apostolic letters have justly censured as 
unlawful." (Letter 2, p. 119.) 

With respect to the Old Testament, we have the following clear 
and well-condensed view : 

" The divine legislation of the Hebrews," saith our author, " is 
quite decisive." 

1. " A man disposes of his own liberty." (Exod. 21 : 5, Levit. 
25 : 89, Deut 15 : 15.) 

2. U A person is born in servitude." (Exod. 21 : 4, Levit. 
25 : 45, 46.) 

3. " Children sold by their parents." (Exod. 16:7, Isaiah 50 : 1.) 

4. "Thieves, unable to make restitution." (Exod. 22 : 3.) 

5. " Creditors taking the debtor and his children to pay the debt. 
(4 Sam. or 2 Kings ch. 4.)" (To this our Saviour refers in His para- 
ble, Matt 18 : 25.) 

6. " Purchase recognized throughout as a good title to the service 
of one already enslaved." 

7. "Slaves made in war." (Deut. 20 : 14.) 

" Thus, all the divines of the Roman Catholic Church acknowledge 
that they find, in the divine legislation for the Hebrew people, the 
recognition of slavery, and the enactment of provisions for its regu- 
lation." (Letter 2, 122.) 

"The divine legislator of Christianity," saith Bishop England, 
" made no special law, either to repeal or to modify the former and 
still subsisting right, but He enforced principles which produced an 
extensive amelioration. Neither did the apostles consider the Christ- 
ian master obliged to liberate his Christian servant. St. Paul, in his 
epistle to Philemon, acknowledges the right of the master to the ser- 
vices of his slave. Thus a runaway slave still belonged to his mas- 
ter, and though having become a Christian, so far from being thereby 
liberated from service, he was bound to return thereto, and submit 
himself to his owner. In the same manner that St. Paul sent One- 
simus, did the angel send Hagar." (Gen. 16 : 6-9.) (Letter 3, p. 

Again, saith our author, " The legislator of Christianity, while he 


admitted the legality of slavery, rendered the master merciful, and 
the slave faithful, obedient, and religious." (Ib. p. 127.) "The 
Church which He commissioned to teach all nations to the end of the 
world, has at all times considered the existence of slaves as compati- 
ble with religious profession and practice." (Ib. p. 128.) 

" The principle which St. Augustine laid down was that observed, 
viz. : The State was to enact the laws regulating slavery ; the Church 
was to plead for morality, and exhort to practice mercy." (Ib. p. 130.) 

" The right of the master, the duty of the slave, the lawfulness of 
continuing the relation, and the benevolence of religion in mitigating 
the sufferings of those held in bondage, and releasing them by lawful 
means permitted by the State, are the results exhibited by our view 
of the laws and facts, during the first four centuries of Christianity." 

These extracts from the work of this eminent representative of the 
Roman Catholic Church, are abundantly sufficient to establish her 
doctrine on the subject. It differs in no respect from the doctrine of 
our own, as I have proved most copiously by all the Commentators 
and divines, already quoted, up to the period when we find so strong 
a disposition to depart from the old paths, in this age of innovation. 
And it will not be pretended that the Church, in any other region of 
the world, has yet authorized the change. 

For no man doubts that the Churches of the East still retain and 
practice slavery. The Greek Church, the Armenians, the Copts, the 
Nestorians, have promulgated no new rules upon the subject. And 
the Church of Russia, with her sixty millions, has never yet varied 
from her views of the moral and religious aspect of the question. 
The late emancipation of twenty millions of serfs was purely the act 
of the State, under the absolute authority of the Czar or Emperor, 
Alexander. And we have no reason to suppose that the Church had 
any thing to do with it, beyond the expression of a cheerful acqui- 
escence in the imperial will. 




RIGHT REVEREND BROTHER : The learned and very thorough work 
of Bishop England did not come under my notice, until I had col- 
lected my own list of authorities from the Fathers and the Councils. 
But I am indebted to it for two very interesting facts on the import- 
ant subject of the marriage of slaves, which escaped my attention; 
and I gladly avail myself of his labors to record them here. 

"One of the subjects," saith our author, "which at all times 
caused slavery to be surrounded with great difficulties, was the re- 
sult of marriage. The interest of the owner frequently interfered 
with the affection of the husband and wife, and also was irreconcil- 
able with the relation of parent and child. The liability to separation 
of those married was a more galling affliction in the Christian law, 
where the Saviour made marriage indissoluble ; and it often happened 
that an avaricious or capricious owner cared as little for the marriage 
bond, as he did for the natural tie of affection. Hence as Christian- 
ity became the religion of the state, or of the great body of the 
people, it was imperatively demanded, by the very nature of the 
case, that some restraint should be placed upon that absolute power 
which the owners had, and sometimes abused, of wantonly making 
these separations." 

" This was a strong temptation to both master and slave, to prefer 
concubinage to marriage. This is one of the worst moral evils at- 
tending slavery, where no restraint of law effects its removal." (Let. 
12, p. 160.) 

Bishop England proceeds to state that a remedy was provided, to 
a considerable extent, in the case of serfs, or colonists, (coloni, or 
rustici, as they were then styled, i.e., slaves who had an allotment 
of land to work for the benefit of the master,) an edict being set 
forth by the Emperor Justinian, in A.D. 539, (Novel, clxii. c. 3,) of 
which our author gives the following translation, viz. : 




" Preamble. "We have learned by relation in various ways, that a 
delinquency quite unworthy of our times is allowed in the provinces 
of Mesopotamia and of Osdroene. They have a custom of having 
marriage contracted between those born on different estates ; whence 
the masters endeavor to dissolve marriages actually contracted ; or 
to take away from the parents the children who are their issue ; 
upon which account that entire place is miserably afflicted, whilst 
country people, husbands and wives, are drawn away from each 
other, and the children whom they brought into light are taken 
away from them ; and that there needs for the regulation only our 

" Wherefore we enact, that otherwise the masters of the aforesaid 
keep their colonists (serfs) as they will ; but it shall not be allowed 
by virtue of any custom heretofore introduced and in existence, to 
put away from each other those who are married, or to force them 
to cultivate the land belonging to themselves," (that is, to force the 
serfs to labor on the other parts of their master's estate, outside of 
their allotted portion,) " or to take away children from their parents, 
under the color of colonial condition, (serfdom.) And you will be 
careful that if any thing of this sort has haply been akeady done, 
the same be corrected and restitution made, whether it be that child- 
ren were taken away from their parents, or women from their 
consorts of marriage. And for any who shall in future act in 
this way, it shall be at the hazard of losing the estate itself." 

" Wherefore, let marriages of servants be exempt from that fear 
which has hitherto hung over them, and from the issue of this order, 
let the parents have their children. It shall not be competent for 
the lords of the estates to strive by any subtle arguments either to 
take away those who contract marriage, or their children." (Letter 
12, p. 161.) 

The same evil, however, prevailed in the ninth century, and our 
author quotes the 30th canon of the Council of Chalons, on the Saone, 
in France, A.D. 813, which was " confirmed by Charlemagne, and 
made a portion of the law of the empire," in order to correct it. The 
translation of Bishop England is as follows, viz. : 

" It has been stated to us that some persons, by a sort of magis- 


terial presumption, dissolve the marriages of slaves ; not regarding 
that evangelical maxim, What God hath joined together let man not 
separate. Whence it appears to us, that the wedlock of slaves may 
not be dissolved, even though they have different masters ; but let 
them serve their masters remaining in one wedlock. And this is to 
be observed with regard to those where there has been a lawful union, 
and with the will of the owners." (Let. 15, p. 177.) 

These enactments were wise and salutary, and clearly prove that 
the ancients were sensible of the great difficulty to which slavery 
has been more or less subject, and which legislation can never correct 
until the masters themselves become earnestly interested in the mat- 
ter. For neither of these laws took away the practice of concubinage. 
Instead of this, they seem rather to have promoted it, as the easiest 
mode of avoiding the restraints which followed a lawful marriage. 
Yet it would seem that much might be done, by judicious legislation, 
to strengthen and increase a sound public sentiment on this im- 
portant matter. And it is to be hoped that the clergy will not cease, 
wherever slavery exists, to use their best efforts in favor of a wise 
and thorough reformation, which shall do away effectually the most 
serious reproach now brought against the institution. 



RIGHT REVEREND BROTHER: I have now, I trust, redeemed my 
pledge to establish the position taken in my Bible View of Slavery 
against the modern doctrine of ultra-abolitionism, namely, that the 
slavery of the negro race in the Southern States was lawful, not 
only by the Constitution of our country, but by the word of God 
and the voice of the Holy Catholic Church from the beginning. Of 
course it resulted that in the relation of master and slave there was 
no sin, because sin is the transgression of the law ; and I may safely 
defy my learned and zealous antagonists to point out any law of God 
or of the Church which forbids or condemns the institution. 

But before I proceed to the general summing up of my authorities, 
there are some popular arguments which ought to be discussed for 
the better satisfaction of my readers. First, Polygamy ; second, 
Man-stealing ; and third, the golden rule of doing to others what we 
would they should do unto us, from which my opponents suppose 
that I ought to become a slave if I vindicate the lawfulness of slavery. 
I have touched on some of them already in my published letter, but 
I shall consider them again rather more at large. 

Beginning with polygamy, my adversaries are very fond of con- 
founding it with slavery, because it was permitted among the Jews. 
But the difference between the two is manifest to any candid and 
fair mind in these respects, viz. : 

First, that slavery was the subject of divine prophecy and legisla- 
tion, while no one pretends that the Almighty ever declared it to be 
His will that a man should have more wives than one. Our Saviour, 
speaking of the general laxity on the subject of the marriage relation, 
(Matt. 19 : 8,) expressly saith that " Moses" (not by the positive com- 
mand of the Deity, but in his human discretion) " suffered it because of 
the hardness of their hearts" " but from the beginning it was not so" 
And this forever settled the question. Therefore the Apostles every- 
where maintain the rule, as St. Paul distinctly states it in the quali- 

230 rOLYGAMY. 

fications of a bishop, that he shall 1)6 the husband of one wife. 
(1 Tim. 3 : 2.) And this restriction is the more emphatic when it is 
remembered that polygamy was allowed, without reprehension, 
among the Jews. 

Secondly, the voice of the Church of Christ, from the beginning, 
proclaimed the same distinction, defending and sustaining slavery, 
while polygamy was positively forbidden. This is distinctly proved 
by the following testimonies, viz. : 

"If any one," say the Apostolic Canons, "after receiving holy 
Baptism, is connected with two wives ; or has a concubine, he can not 
be a bishop, or a presbyter, or a deacon, or in any way of the num- 
ber of the priesthood." (74) 

And the first General Council of Nicea, which consisted of three 
hundred and eighteen bishops from every part of the Christian world, 
assembled A.D. 325, pronounces the rule to be of universal obligation. 

" No one," saith this Council, " ought to have two wives at the 
same time, nor bring in another woman to his wife, for the indulgence 
of carnal pleasure or appetite, thrusting himself into sin, by a com- 
merce with many, for the indulgence of lust instead of the increase 
of progeny, according to the order of God. And whoever shall act 
thus, if he be a priest, he shall be prohibited from the ministry of 
sacrifice and the communion of the faithful until he sends away the 
second woman from his house, retaining the first one. The same 
judgment is declared concerning the laity.' 11 (75) 

So stringent was the law on this subject that St. Augustine con- 
siders it binding under every circumstance. For thus he writes, 
viz. : 

" A man may desire to dismiss a wife who is barren, and take 
another by whom he may have offspring; yet nevertheless it is not 
lawful, nor can he, in our times and by the Roman custom, have 
more than one wife living." (76) 

Thus, likewise, declares St. Basil, the great authority amongst the 
Oriental churches, viz. : 

" The Canon condemns bigamy, trigamy, and polygamy, a certain 
proportion being observed, viz., one year's penance for bigamy, but 
others say two years. Trigamy is punished by three years, and 
often by four, of excommunication." (77.) " The fathers have said 
little of polygamy, as being a Beastly thing, altogether foreign to 
humanity." (78.) 


Such is the law of the Christian Church. The attempt made to 
get rid of the authority which the Old Testament gives to slavery, 
on account of the practice of polygamy amongst "the Jews, is not con- 
sistent with sound reason. In the case of slavery they had the 
divine law to sanction it. In the case of polygamy there was no 
law, and St. Paul plainly saith : " Where no law is, there is no trans- 
gression." (Rom. 4 : 15.) When my antagonists shall prove that 
it is the same thing whether men act with law or without it, they 
may make something of this argument, but not before. 

With respect to the Church of Christ, however, the application of 
such sophistry is still more absurd and inexcusable, for we have seen 
that on the subject of slavery the Apostles, the fathers, the comment- 
ators, and the divines, sustain the lawfulness of the institution, 
although they nowhere approve of polygamy. Nay, more than this, 
for while they justify the one as the ordinance of divine Providence, 
they decree their positive prohibition and condemnation of the other. 

It should be constantly borne in mind that the office which Moses 
sustained towards Israel, as their divinely appointed lawgiver, was 
committed to the inspired Apostles by the express authority of the 
Redeemer. " I appoint unto you a kingdom" saith He, " as my 
Father hath appointed unto me." (Luke 22 : 29.) " Go ye there- 
fore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father 
and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all 
things whatsoever I have commanded you ; and lo, I am with you 
alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen." (Matt. 28 : 19, 20.) 
St. Paul asserts this same authority most clearly where he saith : 
"If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him 
acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the Command- 
ments of the Lord,?' 1 (1 Cor. 14 : 37.) Hence he delivers his pre- 
cepts, throughout, as the inspired organ of the divine Lawgiver, and 
where he speaks merely of his own mind he states the distinction, 
as where he saith : " Now concerning virgins I have no command- 
ment of the Lord, yet I give my judgment as one that hath obtained 
mercy of the Lord to be faithful." (1 Cor. 7 : 25.) But whenever 
he lays down his precepts without this distinction he exacts entire 
submission, under the penalty of exclusion from all ecclesiastical fel- 
lowship. For thus he writes to the Thessalonians : " If any man 
obey not our word by this epistle, note that man and have no com- 
pany with him, that he may be ashamed." (2 Thes. 3 : 14.) 


When, therefore, we find St. Paul, as the divinely appointed legis- 
lator, clearly commanding that the bishop shall be " the husband of 
one wife " (1 Tim. 3 : 2) when we see that, throughout all his 
epistles, he speaks of the wife in the singular number, never allud- 
ing to the possibility of Christians having more, and that this is in 
strict agreement with the principle laid down by Christ himself when 
He opposed the Jewish practice of divorces, and said that Moses had 
only allowed it " on account of the hardness of their hearts, V (Matt 
19 : 3-9,) we can not doubt that polygamy was regarded as inconsis- 
tent with the law of holiness, which was designed for the more 
spiritual dispensation of the Gospel. There is, however, an objection 
made by some, viz. that the restriction placed upon the bishop im- 
plies a greater license to the people. And the argument can only be 
sustained by supposing that the laws of Christian morality were to 
be one thing for the priesthood and another for the laity. But this 
is contrary both to reason and to Scripture. To reason, because tin 
priest and the layman are equally candidates for heaven, into which 
nothing unholy or impure can be allowed to enter. And to Scrip- 
ture, because St. Peter addresses the laity in these words, viz. * 
" Ye are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up 
spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 
11 : 5.) And again : "Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priest- 
hood, an holy nation, a peculiar people." "Dearly beloved, I be- 
seech you, as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which 
war against the soul." (Ib. ver. 9-11.) And again St. Paul saith : 
" Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man 
shall see the Lord." (Heb. 12 : 14.) 

Since it must thus be manifest that holiness is as much enjoined 
on the people as on the priesthood, since the laity are even specially 
exhorted to flee from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, and 
since the whole Church is called a "holy priesthood," a "royal 1 
priesthood," a " holy nation," it seems plain that the restriction laid 
down to the bishop that he should be the husband of one wife, was 
the law intended for all. There is but one straight and narrow path 
to the kingdom of heaven. The clergy are the leaders in that path, 
but the people must follow or they can not lead. There is but one 
saving faith and one code of pure morality. The clergy are bound to 
teach the world, but the same truths which they are appointed to 
preach, both they and the people are alike bound to adopt, as the only 
rule of life and conversation. 


Most justly, therefore, did the Church so expound the law laid 
down by the great Apostle of the Gentiles, when the great Council 
of Nicea applied the restriction of one wife to all Christians, without 
exception. The Holy Catholic Church, in which the Apostles' Creed 
requires us to believe, that is, the Church Universal, embraced this 
rule throughout the whole extent of Christendom, and has always 
maintained it to this day. And such being the unanimous voice of 
the Church of Christ, proving her assent to slavery and her condem- 
nation of polygamy, I can not sufficiently wonder at the perversity 
which affects to place them on the same foundation. 



RIGHT REVEREND BROTHER: I proceed, next, to the charge of 
man-stealing, which the ultra-abolitionist is so fond of bringing 
against the Southern institution. And I know of nothing, in the 
whole range of religious or legal controversy, which is more unjust 
and indefensible. 

The argument stands thus, in the pages of one of the pamphlets 
which have honored me with their condemnation : 

"In the year 1562, Sir John Hawkins set fire to a city in Africa and 
carried off two hundred and fifty slaves. And the king of Dahomey 
captured, quite lately, a town in which he slew one third of the 
population and took the remainder into captivity." This is assumed 
to be the mode in which all the slaves at the South were originally 
reduced to bondage ; and as their masters can have no better title 
than those who sold them, therefore they are all involved in the sin 
of man-stealing ! 

Now, really, this sort of absurdity strikes me as a most extraordi- 
nary example of sophistical perverseness. If these facts were 
brought forward against the slave-trade, they might be deemed appro- 
priate. But there we have no controversy. The slave-trade has 
been abandoned long ago, and pronounced piracy by the laws of the 
land. The Southern States maintain the same position that we 
occupy with respect to it. But what has that to do with their 
domestic slavery f Have they attacked the African towns, and 
slaughtered the inhabitants, and taken away the captives ? At the 
time when this sort of work was held to be legitimate, it was done by 
Old England; and New-England carried on the trade, while the 
South had no share in it, although they received the Africans by fair 
purchase from the persons who imported them, without any direct 
participation in the mode by which they were obtained. But you 
may say that " the receiver is as bad as the thief." I grant it, if the 
receiver knows that the property was stolen. Two facts, however, 


must be proved in order to establish this offense.' For in the first 
place it must be shown that the property was stolen. And in the 
second place, it must be testified that the purchaser was aware of the 
felony, neither of which can possibly be established at this day with 
respect to the original stock of Africans from whom the Southern 
negroes have descended. 

No one can be farther than I am from justifying the barbarity of 
the African slave-trade. But to deal fairly with that, as I suppose 
we should deal fairly with the worst kinds of criminality, it should 
be remembered that it involved two elements, of which one was the 
mode in which the slave-traders obtained the slaves, and the other 
was the horrid treatment to which they were subjected in what was 
called the middle passage, or the voyage from Africa to the destined 
port of delivery. 

With respect to the first of these alone, our present topic is con- 
cerned. We are told, by Malte Brun, that in Africa two thirds of 
the population are slaves, which, as the whole is estimated at ninety 
millions, would give sixty millions for the present number of the 
native slaves, independent of any new war between the rulers of that 
heathen continent 

Suppose then, that the slave-traders, applying to the king of Daho- 
mey, were supplied with their sad cargo of human beings from the 
multitude who were slaves already, could they, by any propriety of 
speech, be called men-stealers ? By all that I have read upon the 
subject, I presume that those traders found the slaves in the absolute 
power of their heathen master, and purchased them for whatever 
price he was willing to take, without having any thing to do with the 
mode by which he came into possession. And if they had inquired 
into that mode, the barbarian despot would most probably have 
replied that it was none of their business. The slaves were his, and 
they might buy them or let them alone, just as they pleased. I do 
not see, under such circumstances, how we could convict the traders 
themselves as having stolen the slaves ; much less, as having burned 
the towns and carried off the captives, in the style of Sir John Haw- 
kins, or any other man. 

Suppose, again, that these degraded and wretched beings were 
brought to Boston, to Bristol, or to Salem, in the days when such 
traffic was permitted, and sold again to the planters of the South, 
how were they to know that they were certainly stolen ? If the tra- 


ders themselves had no information of that fact, how could they com- 
municate it to the second purchaser? And by what process of 
reasoning can it be shown that these Southern purchasers had any 
thing to do with man-stealing ? 

But, perfectly plain as the matter appears to my mind, by this 
simple course of common-sense and justice, I shall go further, and 
maintain, that even if the first slaves imported had been stolen, and 
the traders knew it and communicated the knowledge to the purchas- 
ers, it would be neither lawful nor reasonable to charge the sin of 
such an act upon their heirs and descendants, who have come into 
possession regularly and legally, without the slightest complicity in 
the original wrong. 

For look at the title by which you, with every other man in the 
community, must hold the lands and houses in your possession. What 
is its origin ? The country once belonged to the Indian tribes, and 
the claim set up to it by England was based upon the right of discov- 
ery. What sort of right is that ? Does my discovery of property 
which belongs to another man make it mine ? It would be mere ab- 
surdity to pretend it. If I can not find the true owner, I may be 
authorized to keep it ; but as soon as he appears I am bound to sur- 
render it, or I become a transgressor. Manifestly, therefore, there is 
no law of natural justice that authorized Queen Elizabeth or her royal 
successors to confer the lands of the Indians on their subjects, in the 
charters granted by the crown to the Virginia colonists, or to the 
Pilgrim fathers, as it is the fashion to call them, or to Lord Baltimore, 
or to William Penn. All this was taken for granted by the European 
maxims of those days, which assumed the right of claiming any land 
inhabited by savage heathen tribes, and calling it their own ; precisely 
in the same way that they assumed the right of taking the natives 
themselves, and reducing them to bondage. 

Now the ultra-abolitionist holds his property by the same title pre- 
cisely, that the Southern planter claims in his slaves. The way in 
which the real Indian owners of the soil were divested of it is stamped 
on the page of history. It was done by force or fraud. Battle after 
battle had to be waged against them. And when the poor wretches 
were compelled to submit to the superior knowledge and arms of the 
invaders, the treaties of peace by which they consented to give up 
their lands were in most cases, if not in all, the results of a dire ne- 


When our ultra-abolitionist talks about the negro, he tells us that 
all men are brothers, and is pathetically eloquent upon the Christian 
rule of doing to others as we would they should do unto us. But 
when his subject is the Indian, he has no idea that the rule is applic- 
able. Then it was all right that the strong hand should take posses- 
sion of their property, drive them away from their homes and the 
burial-places of their fathers, and gradually exterminate the savage 
race, if they stood in the way of advancing civilization. 

The effects of these operations, however, on the Indian and the 
negro, have been widely different ; though justice and humanity can 
say very little in favor of their commencements. The Indians have 
been left to their barbarism, without any attempt on the part of gov- 
ernment to convert or civilize them. The Africans, on the contrary, 
have been elevated from the most degraded state, far more degraded 
than that of the Indians, and changed from heathen savages into 
Christian men. The Indians have been diminished in number until 
they have become a mere remnant, and the whole will probably disap- 
pear in a few generations more ; while the Africans have multiplied in 
eighty years from seven hundred thousand to four millions. The In- 
dians are wronged, dissatisfied, unhappy, and hostile. The Africans 
are contented, affectionate, and attached to their masters. The pros- 
pect open to the Indian is dark and gloomy, with nothing to cheer 
or console him. The prospect of the African is bright and hopeful, 
for a portion of his race have been enabled to plant Liberia, and he 
can turn his eyes to the sunny land of his forefathers with a reason- 
able expectation that he or his children may rise, in time, to a fair 
condition amongst the citizens of a civilized community. So marked, 
indeed, is the contrast between the practical working of the event in 
the cases of these two savage races, that no reflecting mind can con- 
template them without surprise. Can any Christian believer in the 
providence of God fail to see that a blessing to the African has fol- 
lowed in the train of Southern slavery, while a blight has rested on 
the system adopted for the Indian ? Is it possible to doubt that if 
the Indians could have been successfully subjected to the white man, 
it would have been infinitely better for them at the present day ? 

But it is unnecessary to pursue this train of reflection any farther. 
My object in adverting to it is only to show that the original violence, 
fraud, and injustice by which the Indians were dispossessed, have 
nothing to do with the title of those who now claim what was once 


their property. It would be an absurdity for any man to ask that 
our citizens should surrender their farms and their city lots to some 
Indian tribe, because the land was originally torn from the lawful 
owners. The past can not be recalled, nor do the evil acts of other 
days admit of any remedy. It is enough that each man has now a 
valid title, transmitted from the first settlers, or under a patent from 
the established government in each State. What would you think 
of an attempt to invalidate this, on the ground that the tract in ques- 
tion was originally the seat of an Indian village, that the white men 
attacked it, burned the huts, killed many of the savages, drove off 
the rest, and seized the land as their own ; and that property thus 
acquired by robbery and murder could not be lawfully held by those 
who derived it from such a bloody and cruel invasion of natural right 
and justice ? Have you any doubt that the lawyer who should try 
to nullify a regular conveyance, by a plea like this, would be laughed 
at for his folly ? Yet such is precisely the course of the abolitionist, 
who persuades himself that because the Africans were originally 
seized by violence, and enslaved by the strong hand, therefore the 
present owners of the Southern slaves have no valid title ; although 
they hold it by transmission or regular purchase under the same 
established law of their country. 

On this point, therefore, though it be such a favorite with most of 
my antagonists, their agument is simply ridiculous. The title now held 
to the greater part of the landed property in these United States rests 
on the same foundation with that of the Southern slaveholder. Penn- 
sylvania, indeed, under the pacific policy of William Penn, may have 
been an exception, so far as force was concerned. Whether it was an 
exception with respect to the skill manifested in cheatirg the simplicity 
of the Indian, would be a different question. We read, for example, 
of a bargain in which an Indian agreed with a worthy Quaker to 
take a handful of glass beads for as much land as an ox-hide would 
cover. But the wily Friend cut the hide into strips as narrow as 
ten to the inch, and laying these end to end upon the ground, sur- 
rounded a comfortable lot of almost four acres. The poor Indian 
attempted to remonstrate against a construction of the contract so 
very different from the natural meaning of the terms employed. But 
it was in vain. Yet no jury of honest men would hesitate to condemn 
such a trick, as a fraudulent imposition. 

I do not vouch for the truth of this small specimen. Nor is it of 


any importance. For no reasonable man has any doubt that the 
superior sagacity and power of the Anglo-Saxon race were fully exer- 
cised in every practicable way, to despoil the poor savages of their 
rights in the soil, throughout the whole extent of our vast territory. 
And this is enough to prove that even if the first Southern purchasers 
of the Africans could be charged with the sin of man-stealing, they 
would, be in no worse condition than the first settlers, who robbed 
the Indians of their land and exterminated the owners without pity 
or compunction. I have shown, however, that there is no testimony 
which can bring home this accusation against the Southern pur- 
chasers of the imported negroes ; while the whole strain of history 
establishes the charge with respect to the Indians. And, therefore, 
notwithstanding the zeal of the ultra-abolitionist in urging this popu- 
lar argument, it must be perfectly manifest that the title of the pre- 
sent generation to their property in the slaves is even less liable to 
impeachment on this score, than the title to the soil itself, on a fair 



RIGHT REVEREND BROTHER : The next ground of accusation, and one 
which the eloquent declaimers against Southern slavery find most 
convincing with the multitude, is derived from their management of 
the " Golden Rule," as it is often called, laid down by our Saviour, 
namely, " Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye 
even so to them, for this is the law and the prophets." (Matt. Y : 12.) 
I have touched briefly on this topic in my Bible View of Slavery, 
but it deserves a more extended examination. Before I enter upon 
it, however, I must call your attention to the important fact that it 
was no new rule of Christian practice. Our divine Redeemer ex- 
pressly saith, " This is the law and the prophets" plainly referring to 
the existing system of the Mosaic economy, in which the slavery of 
the heathen races was sanctioned by the Word of God. And this of 
itself should be enough to satisfy any candid mind that the " Golden 
Rule," properly understood, could not have been intended to interfere 
with the institution. 

But in examining the true meaning of this law, it is evident that a 
qualification is necessary ; and this is usually expressed by under- 
standing the circumstances of the parties to be taken into considera- 
tion. Thus, for example, the master of the negro can have no doubt 
that if he were in the condition of a slave he would desire to be free, 
and tkerefore, according to the " Golden Rule," he is bound to eman- 
cipate his bondman. This is the view which suits the ultra-abolition- 
ist exactly ; and it must be admitted that it is, at first sight, suffi- 
ciently plausible to convince the ordinary understanding, when there 
is no motive of personal interest on the other side of the question. 
To test its truth, however, let us examine how it would apply to the 
other relations of civilized society. 

Take the case of a wealthy father, whose favorite daughter has 
fixed her affections on some worthless rake, gifted with a handsome 
person and a flattering tongue, but utterly destitute of the qualities 
necessary to secure her safety or her comfort in the married relation. 


He knows that if Tie were in Tier place, he would desire beyond all 
things the gratification of her wishes, and the " Golden Rule" is ap- 
pealed to, as his law of duty. Is it, indeed, his law of duty ? Not 
at all. On the contrary, having a far clearer view than she can 
form of what is best for her own happiness, he firmly refuses her 
passionate prayer, turns the unprincipled fortune-hunter from his 
doors, and thus proves himself the real guardian of his daughter's 

Take the case of the judge or the juryman, sitting on the trial of 
some unhappy culprit at the bar of justice. They know perfectly 
well, that if they were in the place of the prisoner, it would be their 
heart's desire that the judge would be favorable in his charge, and 
the jury favorable in their verdict And the " Golden Rule" is again 
brought forward. Has it any proper application ? None whatever. 
The judge and the jury are bound to act according to the law and 
the testimony, without any regard to the wishes of the prisoner. For 
if these were to be taken for their rule, society would be unhinged, 
and justice would become an empty name, signifying nothing. 

Take the case of a fashionable and extravagant wife, who is earn- 
estly bent upon a lavish display in dress, furniture, and parties of 
pleasure, which her husband knows to be quite unsuited to his cir- 
cumstances. He understands her feelings perfectly well, and has no 
doubt that if he were in her place, he would desire to be indulged 
with all the money required for her gratification. But does the 
u Golden Rule" demand his compliance with her solicitations ? By 
no means. It is his duty to restrain her foolish vanity and pride, 
to deny her wishes, nay, to countermand her orders if necessary, 
notwithstanding it may produce no small amount of reproach and 
mortification ; since otherwise, the result would probably be that, 
in a little while, he might become a bankrupt, without house or 

Or, take the common case of the poor beggar, who once enjoyed 
the sunshine of prosperity, but now stands at your door, asking for 
aid to relieve his destitution. He sees your tasteful dwelling, filled 
with the best products of art and the appliances of modern refine- 
ment and luxury. He compares his lot with yours, and is tempted 
to upbraid the partial Providence which has placed so vast a dif- 
ference between the conditions of men, notwithstanding the Declara- 
tion of Independence has pronounced that they are all created " FREE 


AND EQUAL." You give him, perhaps, a meal in your kitchen, and 
even add to it a small sum in money. But you mark his eye, as it 
gazes on the opulence around him ; and you have no doubt that if 
you were in his place, you would desire to have a fair partition of 
the whole. Does the " Golden Rule" convince you that you ought to 
make him a sharer in your prosperity ? You would as soon think of 
committing suicide. On the contrary, you feel quite satisfied that 
you have already displayed a commendable amount of Christian 
charity ; and sit down at your well-covered board, without the slight- 
est idea that you have violated one of the most comprehensive pre- 
cepts of your divine Master. 

An abundance of cases might be thus adduced, proving, beyond 
the possibility of doubt, that the " Golden Rule" must be qualified by 
another restriction : " Whatsoever ye would that men should do to 
you, do ye even so to them," provided it be just and reasonable. 
And as this restriction is really understood and acted upon, in all 
the other relations of life, it is certainly fair that it should be equally 
applicable to the relation of slavery. 

When, therefore, the master is required to manumit his slave, on 
the ground, that if lie were in the condition of the slave, he would 
desire to be free, and that, consequently, according to the " Golden 
Rule," he is obliged to give liberty to his bond-servant, we are as- 
suredly obliged to apply the precept on the same principles. For, 
in no other way can we escape the reproach which our Lord adminis- 
tered to the Pharisees : " They bind heavy burdens and grievous to 
be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders ; but they themselves will 
not move them with one of their fingers" (Matt. 23 : 4.) In such a 
case, the master is really under no more obligation than all other 
men ; which is, as we have shown, to obey the precept when it de- 
mands nothing but what is just and reasonable. And as, in every 
other instance, he is compelled to judge what would be just and 
reasonable, so it is in this, that he must reflect whether the grant of 
freedom would be an advantage to the slave, and compatible with 
the paramount duty which he owes to his own family, and the com- 
munity around him. 

If, therefore, he believes that the slave is not fit for freedom if he 
knows, by experience, that in the majority of instances, the free ne- 
groes have proved to be made worse and more miserable by their 
liberty than they were before he would be not only authorized but 


obliged, by the true rule of duty, to deny the request, on the same 
principle which compels the father to refuse indulgence to the child, 
when his compliance would only work mischief to the object of his 

Or if the master thinks that "there is no reason for granting this 
supposed privilege to one slave, more than to many others, while the 
extension of it would be ruin to himself and his family, justice 
to them would make it his duty to refuse. 

Or if, living in a slave State, to whose laws and customs he is 
bound as a faithful citizen, he knows that the indiscriminate eman- 
cipation of his slaves would spread discontent amongst the servants 
of his neighbors, and produce an excitement likely to cause serious 
trouble and perhaps danger to the public peace, in such case, even 
if his circumstances could bear the loss of his property, he would 
be justified in refusing to emancipate, lest, in yielding to the dictates 
of his private feelings, he should violate the higher duty which he 
owes to the general good of the community. 

Thus we see that the " Golden Rule," fairly interpreted, would only 
effect the freedom of the slave in those cases where the master was 
persuaded that it was just and reasonable. And in all such cases, 
the Southern slaveholders have pursued it, as I believe, with a liberal 
kindness, which has not always worked happily even to the slaves 
themselves ; though *I rejoice to think that in many instances it has 
been wisely applied, especially when it has been connected with the 
noble enterprise, planned and executed by themselves, of planting 
the colony of Liberia. If the tenth part as much had ever been done 
for the negro race, by the leaders of ultra-abolitionism, I should have 
a far higher respect for the character of their philanthropy. 



RIGHT REVEREND BROTHER : Some of the profound theologians who 
have honored my humble pamphlet with so many rebukes, are ap- 
parently convinced, that in order to be consistent with my argu- 
ment, I should be myself a slave. And, notwithstanding the puerile 
folly of the intended sarcasm, it may be as well to devote a short 
chapter to its consideration. 

I have called it a puerile folly, because it has nothing to do with 
the question ; and only reminds one of the style in which children in a 
passion reproach their best friends, when they happen to offend them. 
But the question in dispute has no relation to the propriety of mak- 
ing slaves of freemen. On the contrary, the only point at issue is 
upon the religious duty of making freemen of slaves. The negro 
race at the South have never been free, so far as we have any know- 
ledge. Their ancestors were slaves in Africa, and the millions of 
their posterity now in bondage, were born and bred in the same 
condition, only elevated, to a vast extent, by their intercourse with 
the white race, and the influence of the Gospel. The question wheth- 
er it is best for the true interests of both races that they should 
continue as they are, until the wisdom of Providence opens the way 
for the gradual abolition of slavery and the extradition of the negroes 
to their parent soil of Africa, on the one hand ; or whether, on the 
other, the United States should be drenched in blood, in the wild 
hope of forcing their immediate emancipation, and raising them to a 
perfect equality with their former masters on their own soil this, 
indeed, is a question of tremendous magnitude. But what it has to 
do with the suggestion that I should become a slave, who have been 
born and bred a freeman, is quite too deep for my poor understand- 

Yet nevertheless, as the proverb declares that it is sometimes expe- 
dient to answer even "a fool according to his folly," I shall first 
remind these gentlemen that I am, in the highest sense, a slave 
already, and my master is the Lord Jesus Christ. " Ye are bought 


with a price," saith St. Paul to the Corinthians, " therefore glorify 
God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's." (1 Cor. 
6 : 20.) And again saith the same Apostle : " He that is called in 
the Lord, being a slave, is the Lord's freeman ; likewise also, he 
that is called, being free, is Christ's slave. 11 (I Cor. 7 : 21.) And 
devoutly do I thank Him, who has thus purchased my redemption 
with His own precious blood, and saved me from being a slave to 
the world, the flesh, and the devil, and brought me into His own 
family the Church to serve Him forever ! 

If that divine and sovereign Lord had so determined in His wise, 
though often mysterious providence, that I should also be the slave 
of a Southern master, I trust that He would have given me grace to 
bear it with a spirit of cheerful obedience to His will. In that case, 
however, he would have fitted me for my condition. I should have 
been born of the negro race, bred up in bondage, surrounded by the 
associations best adapted to my lot, accustomed to its necessary toils, 
and willing to take my part in its simple recreations, while, under 
the care of a kind and Christian master, I should have learned to 
congratulate myself on the security from want, the certainty of a 
home, and food and clothing, nursing in sickness, benevolent regard 
in old age, and perfect freedom from the fear of being abandoned, 
when my strength should fail, to the " tender mercies " of the poor- 
house. And I should have had, perhaps as fully as I now have, the 
blessed assurance, that in the sight of God, through the redemption 
of Christ Jesus, I was His slave yet more than my earthly master's, 
that this slavery was the only perfect freedom, that my human bond- 
age would be ended in due time, and that I should then be released, 
at His Almighty Word, to be one amongst the spirits of the just and 
the society of angels, in His glorious and celestial kingdom. 

But the Lord has not so ordered my condition, and therefore I am 
not a fit subject for Southern slavery. He has chosen to place me 
in a different sphere a much higher sphere in the estimation of man- 
kind, although it is possible that many a Christian slave may be 
exalted far above me, in the kingdom of heaven. My faith teaches 
me that these earthly differences in the conditions of men are the 
work of His providence. " He setteth up one, and putteth down 
another." He " divideth severally to every man as He will," and no 
one is authorized to say unto Him, What doest thou ? For, in the 
language of the Apostle, "Who art thou that repliest against Go4? 


Shall the thing formed say to Him that formed it, Why hast thou 
made me thus ? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the 
same lump to make one vessel unto honor, and another to dishonor ? " 
(Rom. 9 : 20-1.) These distinctions, therefore, are all ordered by the 
divine Master. And if my condition in life is a subject of thankful- 
ness, because it is exempt from the humiliation of a slave, I have 
none the less reason to fear the final result, if I fail to discharge the 
far more difficult duties which devolve upon the freeman. 

My objections to being a slave, however, might be extended much 
further. I should be unwilling to be a blacksmith, a tailor, a shoe- 
maker, a hatter, a sailor, or a soldier. Nay, I should be unwilling 
to be a politician or a statesman. And why? Precisely for the 
same reason. I am not fitted for any of them. It is not because I 
lack respect for these various conditions. On the contrary, I honor 
them all, as necessary and laudable parts of the vast system of soci- 
ety which composes the nation. But I am only qualified for the con- 
dition in which it has pleased God to place me. And probably you 
may think me not very well qualified for that. If so, there is one 
point, at least, in which we shall not differ. 

And this brings me to the fundamental principle which determines 
the fitness of men for their respective stations in the community, 
namely, the power of habit. A certain measure of capacity must of 
course be taken for granted, for without it, no habit could be formed. 
But beyond that, all the rest is dependent on the repetition of the 
same round of study, of labor, and of duty, which, by degrees, moulds 
the whole mind, desires, and actions of the individual into the form 
adapted to his circumstances. And this, for the most part, requires 
many years, before the result can be accomplished. I speak of the 
general rule, to which we all know that there are occasional excep- 
tions. Still, with respect to the great bulk of mankind, nothing is 
more true than the fact, that habit alone can fit them fully for their 
specific situations. And when that habit is completely established, 
all experience proves how dangerous it is to make any serious change. 
The character of thought once fixed, the circle of knowledge once 
filled, the routine of occupation once settled, it is rarely possible for 
the individual to succeed in any new and strange relation to society. 
And the attempt to accomplish any sudden revolution in the estab- 
lished course of life, seldom fails to injure the powers both of the 
mind and of the body. 


But if this be true in the case of the individual, much more must 
it be true in the case of nations. All history proves that changes in 
the fixed habits of whole communities can never be effected wisely 
or well, except it be done gradually and slowly, by the insensible 
progress of feeling and education amongst the people themselves. For 
habit has been justly termed our second nature, in most cases stronger 
than the first. Hence the well-known difficulty of overcoming old 
habits in the individual. Hence the vastly greater difficulty of eradi- 
cating the old habits of society at large. And hence the perilous 
character which marks the wild theory of ultra-abolitionists. That 
the Southern States can be revolutionized in their social habits by a 
single stroke of power that the relations of master and slave, fixed 
firmly by the habits of generations, can be suddenly torn asunder 
that millions of slaves can be safely set free before they are fitted for 
freedom that millions of the governing race can be forcibly reduced 
to an equality with those who were so lately their servants, and the 
whole condition of the community totally subverted and thrown into 
confusion, without any of the wise guards and careful preparation 
which so vast a change requires such a scheme as this appears to 
be so contrary to every dictate' of experience, every lesson of history, 
every law of justice, and every rule of common-sense and reason, 
that its acceptance on the part of so many enlightened minds can 
only be accounted for as a sort of monomania on the part of its 
zealous originators, while the crowd of their followers have never 
taken the trouble to examine for themselves, seriously and calmly, 
the real merits of the question. 

I have already said, and have frequently published my own hope 
and persuasion, that the time will come for the total abolition of 
slavery. But when it comes, it will not be by the insane projects of 
politicians, through blood and desolation. The Supreme Ruler of 
nations, in whose hand are the hearts of men, will incline the minds 
of the South, when He sees it to be right, to institute and carry on 
the process, in the only safe and effectual way, which has been pur- 
sued by the other States in relation to it. Since the world began, 
slavery has never been abolished by external force and violence. It 
has only been done away by internal action on the part of those 
who are directly concerned. Of this we have two very different 
examples. The first was that of St. Domingo, where the slaves, 
excited by the pestilent orators of the French Revolution, rose 


against their masters, and attained their horrid triumph by the 
most savage butchery which history has recorded. The other 
was the abolition movement of England, where the result was 
regularly effected by the peaceful action of Parliament, after the 
discussion of more than twenty years, with compensation to the 
masters, and the restraints of apprenticeship upon the slaves, in 
order to avoid the dangers anticipated from a sudden and complete 
change. Yet neither of these examples suits our ultra-abolitionists. 
They are philanthropists, and of course would not desire that the 
South should suffer under a bloody and inhuman massacre, like that 
of St. Domingo. But they have quite as little inclination to imitate 
the course of England, because they are determined to condemn slave- 
holding as a sin, and they could not be partakers in the sin, by pay- 
ing the masters for their slaves, for that would be acknowledging 
that they had a right to hold them. Moreover, such payment would 
be rather costly, and therefore their view is not only philanthropic, 
but withal it is economical and economy is a virtue ! Hence, accord- 
ing to their theory, the emancipation of four millions of slaves must 
be accomplished on a new principle, which they have the sole merit 
of inventing. It is not in the Bible. It is not in history. It is not 
in justice, nor in reason, nor in common-sense. But they cling to it, 
like a fond mother to a deformed bantling, because it is their own ; 
and argument, and authority, and experience, though sustained by 
the Scriptures and the unanimous voice of all Christendom, fail to 
convince them of their gross delusion. 

The results, however, of these two cases in history, namely, that 
of St Domingo, and the more recent one of England, may aid the 
intelligent reader, who is not infected by the mania of ultra-abolition- 
ism, to understand the practical aspects of the question, and to them 
I shall proceed in the next chapter. 



RIGHT REVEREND BROTHER : As philanthropy is the acknowledged 
motive of the ultra-abolitionist, and he holds it to be self-evident that 
the deliverance of the African race, from slavery is the one thing need- 
ful to raise them to an equality with the best and most favored por- 
tions of mankind, it is fair to inquire how the experiment has suc^ 
ceeded in the case of St. Domingo, which has been, for two genera- 
tions, entirely under negro domination. 

On this subject, we have had conflicting statements, on none of 
which reliance can be placed, because the writers were so largely in-i 
fluenced by their particular prejudices. Bqt I shall set the matter 
before you in the words of the eminent Alison, whose " History of 
Europe" is one of the most trustworthy productions of modern litera- 
ture, and who, as a native of Scotland, surrounded by English sym- 
pathies, and naturally inclined to favor abolition, is altogether un- 
likely to fall into any error on the Southern side of the question. 

( 'St Domingo," saith this distinguished historian, "the greatest 
except Cuba, and, beyond all question, the most flourishing of the 
West-India Islands before the Revolution, is about three hundred 
miles long, and its average breadth about ninety miles. The Spaniards 
possessed two thirds, and the French the remainder. In the French 
portion, the inhabitants consisted of about forty thousand whites, 
sixty thousand mulattoes, and five hundred thousand negro slaves. 
This French colony was immensely productive, exceeding all the 
British islands together, Its exports, including the Spanish portion, 
were 18,400,000, and its imports 10,000,000 sterling. Eighteen 
hundred vessels and 27,000 sailors were employed in conducting the 
vast colonial traffic. It was this splendid and unequaled colonial 
possession which the French nation threw away and destroyed at the 
commencement of the revolution, with a recklessness and improvi* 
dence of which the previous history of the world had afforded no 



" Hardly had the cry of liberty and equality been raised in France," 
continues our historian, " when it responded warmly and vehemently 
from the shores of St. Domingo. The slave population were rapidly 
assailed by revolutionary agents and emissaries, and the workshops 
and fields of the planters overrun by heated missionaries, who poured 
into an ignorant and ardent multitude the new-born ideas of Euro- 
pean freedom. The constituent Assembly of March 8, 1790, had 
empowered the colonies to make known their wishes on the subject 
of a Constitution, by Colonial Assemblies, freely elected by their own 
citizens. And on the 15th of May, 1791, the privileges of equality 
were conferred by the same authority on all persons of color, born of 
a free father and mother. The planters openly endeavored to resist 
the decree, and civil war was preparing, when, on the night of the 
26th August, 1791, the negro insurrection, long and silently organ- 
ized, at once broke forth, and wrapped the whole northern part of 
the colony in flames. The conspiracy embraced nearly the whole ne- 
gro population of the island. The cruelties exercised exceeded any 
/liing recorded in history. The negroes marched with spiked infants 
3n their spears instead of colors. They sawed asunder their male 
prisoners, and violated the females on the dead bodies of their hus- 
bands," etc. 

"Louis XVI. was condemned January 15th, 1793. On the 21st of 
January he was executed. The Democratic passions of St. Domingo 
were roused to the highest pitch by this event. Twenty thousand 
negroes rushed in and completed the work of ruin. And the uni- 
versal freedom of the blacks was proclaimed June 3d, 1793."* 

"By the expulsion of the French from St. Domingo," saith this 
historian, "it has been nominally independent, but slavery has been 
far indeed from being abolished, and the condition of the people any 
thing but ameliorated by the change. Nominally free, the blacks 
have remained really enslaved. Compelled to labor by the terrors of 
military discipline, for a small part of the products of the soil, they 
have retained the severity without the advantages of servitude. The 
industrious habits, the flourishing aspect of the island, have disap- 
peared, and the inhabitants, reduced to half their former amount, and 
bitterly galled by their republican task-masters, have relapsed into 
the indolence and inactivity of savage life."t 

* Alison's History of JEhirope. Vol. U. p. 240. Harper's Ed. 1848. 
t Ib. p. 251. 


"The revolution of St. Domingo," continues our author, "has de- 
monstrated that the negroes can occasionally exert all the vigor and 
heroism which distinguish the European character ; but there is yet 
no reason to suppose that they are capable of the continued efforts, 
the sustained and persevering toil, requisite to erect the fabric of civil- 
ized freedom. An observation of Gibbon seems decisive on the sub- 
ject : ' The inaction of the negroes does not seem to be the effect either 
of their virtue or of their pusillanimity. They indulge, like the rest 
of mankind, their passions and appetites, and the adjacent tribes are 
engaged in frequent acts of hostility. But their rude ignorance has 
never invented any effectual weapons ; they appear incapable of form- 
ing any extensive plan of government or conquest, and the obvious 
inferiority of their mental faculties has been discovered and abused 
by the nations of the temperate zone.' If the negroes are not infe- 
rior, either in vigor, courage, or intelligence, to the European, how has 
it happened that they have remained, for six thousand years, in the 
savage state ? It is impossible to arrive at any other conclusion but 
that, in the qualities requisite to create and perpetuate civilization, 
the African is decidedly inferior to the European race, and if any 
doubt could exist on this subject, it would be removed by the subse- 
quent history and present state of the Haytian republic." 

u The following table contains the comparative wealth, produce, and 
trade of St. Domingo, before 1789, and in 1832, after forty years of 
nominal freedom."* 

1789. 1832. 

Population, 600,000. Population, 280,000. 

Sugar exported, . . . .672,000,000 Ibs. Sugar exported, none. 

Coffee, do 86,789,000 Ibs. Coffee, 32,000,000. 

Ships employed, 1,680. Ships employed, 1. 

Sailors, 27,000. Sailors, .167. 

Exports to France, 6,720,000. Exports to Franee / none. 

Imports, 9,890,000. Imports, none. 

Now here, my Right Reverend Brother, we have a very sad but 
very instructive account of the results of sudden and complete eman- 
cipation, presented by one of the most enlightened historians of the 
age, without any conceivable bias to incline him against the prevail- 
ing sentiment in England, which is universally known to be in favor 

* Alison's History of Europe. Vol. ii. p. 251. Harper's Ed. 1843. 


of negro equality. And it is perfectly clear that even if we set aside 
the horrible cruelties and fiend-like atrocities which marked the rev- 
olution, the island has been almost ruined, while the African race 
have lost, instead of gaining, by the change. The population reduced 
from 600,000 to 280,000, less than half; the sugar exported reduced 
from 672,000,000 of pounds to nothing; the coffee reduced from 
nearly 87,000,000 of pounds to 32,000,000, less than half; the ships 
reduced from 1680 vessels to one; the sailors reduced from 27,000 
to 167; the exports reduced from thirty-one millions of dollars to 
nothing ; the imports reduced from forty-six millions of dollars to 
nothing ! What a commentary does this exhibit on forty years of 
negro liberty, produced by a sudden change, under the doctrine pro- 
claimed by the atheists of France, which is identical with that now 
advocated by our own school of ultra-abolitionism ! In one point, 
however, our philanthropists surpass the French Directory, namely, 
in the discovery that slaveholding is a sin, yea, the sum of all vil- 
lainies ! That was left out of the Gallican programme, because they 
were open infidels, denouncing religion, and silencing the priests, and 
closing the churches, and denying the God of truth, while they wor- 
shiped an infamous courtesan under the name of the goddess of 
reason ! Whether it is more consistent to renounce the Bible alto- 
gether, or to quote it in such a way as to subvert its teaching and set 
its divine Author in opposition to His own Word, is a question which 
I do not profess to determine. To my mind, it is like deciding be- 
tween Scylla and Charybdis. The true Christian will carefully shun 
them both, without troubling himself to inquire whether it is best 
to be dashed upon the rock, or swallowed in the whirlpool. 



MY RIGHT REVEREND BROTHER : Having now set before you the re- 
sult of the first example recorded by history, in which negro slavery 
was abolished by immediate emancipation, I turn next to the course 
pursued in England, where the persevering efforts and eloquence of 
the distinguished Wilberforce, employed against a powerful opposi- 
tion for more than twenty years, were at length crowned with such 
triumphant success. 

But here we must take special notice that the whole of his assaults 
were at first directed against the barbarity and cruelty of the slave- 
trade, Without the slightest intention of interfering with the estab- 
lished relations of the planters in the British colonies. The notion 
that the holding of a negro in bondage was a sin per se, had never 
entered into his scheme of philanthropy, for he was a devout Christ- 
ian, and had no sympathy whatever with, tha,t class who trim the 
Bible down to their own judgment of wh.a.t it ought to ~be, and, under 
the name of Christianity, are as really worshipers of reason as the 
open infidels of the French Directory. The faith of Wilberforce was 
the faith of the Church, and therefore the Church accorded with his 
noble work in abolishing the slave-trade. 

I was disappointed and sorry to find, in reading the minute and 
voluminous biography of this celebrated man, published by his sons, 
in five volumes, that none of his speeches were preserved entire, and 
that only a few passages occurred in which this broad and important 
distinction was noticed plainly. But we have enough of these scat- 
tered through the work, to prove the great difference between his prin^ 
ciples and those of the ultra-abolitionists, who are So fond of thinking 
that they are the same. 

Thus, in Vol. 1 of his biography, p. 293, we have this note belong- 
ing to the year 1791. Speaking of the pamphlets published by the 
abolitionists in answer to the evidence given by the advocates for the 
slave-trade, the author, quoting from his father's memoranda, saith : 


" It was necessary, in refuting this evidence, to show the mode of 
obtaining the slaves in Africa, the effect of the trade upon African 
manners ; the cruelty of the mode of transport ; the waste of life 
which it caused in the colonies ; the practicability of maintaining 
the number of slaves on the West-Indian estates ~by breeding ; the 
injurious effects of the Guinea trade upon our own seamen ; and 
the possibility of substituting for it a more advantageous as well as 
humane traffic. All these points the witnesses for the abolition com- 
pletely established." And he adds : 

" The bar were all against us. Fox could scarcely prevent Erskine 
from making a set speech in favor of the trade." 

Again, in 1815, (vol. iv. p. 241,) the biographer states that Wilber- 
force reproved one of his colleagues for going so far. "You," he tells 
Mr. Stephen, " are full ten degrees above me." He was resolved, in 
the first instance, to strengthen the ameliorating influence of the Act 
of Abolition by preventing the illicit introduction of fresh laborers. 
But he and others around him saw not as yet to what they should 
be led. They had never acted on the claim of abstract rights, and 
they reached emancipation at last only because it was the necessary 
conclusion of a series of practical improvements. " They looked," 
says Mr. Stephen, " to an emancipation of which not the slaves, but 
the masters themselves should be the willing authors." 

That is precisely the ground on which Wilberforce then stood, and 
on the same ground I should be perfectly willing to stand with him. 

Again, in a letter addressed to Lord Liverpool, March 17, 1815, 
this eminent man expresses himself as follows, (vol. iv. p. 252 :) 
" Life is wearing away, and I should indeed be sorry if mine were to 
terminate before at least a foundation had been laid of a system of 
reformation, which I verily believe would scarcely be more for the 
comfort of the slaves and free colored population, than it would be for 
the ultimate security of the West-India colonies themselves." 

Again, in an extract from one of his speeches in Parliament, 1816, 
Wilberforce makes these statements, (vol. iv. p. 287 :) " Ever since 
the year 1789, those persons who resist all improvement in the con- 
dition of the negroes have been reiterating the cry against us : 'What, 
then, you mean to make the slaves free ! You intend to emancipate 
them at once, and without the least notice !' It might be supposed 
that our opponents would have abandoned this position after we had 
gone on for twenty -seven years constantly refuting it. But no ; they 


still persevere. Nor have they confined their assertions to this 
House, or to this country, but they have actually printed and pub- 
lished in the West-Indies that the design of the friends of the abolition 
was to make all slaves instantly free. In short, there is nothing, 
however monstrous, however dangerous to the tranquillity of our 
islands, which they have not laid open to the eyes and ears of all the 
inhabitants of the West-Indies." 

Again, in a letter to Hannah More, 1816, (vol. iv. p. 295,) Wilber- 
force saith : " I have much to say to you about my Registry Bill, or 
rather about its object, the amelioration of the state of the poor 
slaves. Alas ! alas ! it grieves me to see the Bristol people so misled, 
but it really is entirely the effect of misinformation." 

And, so late as the year 1818, we find him using these decisive 
words, (vol. iv. p. 365 :) " Our grand object and our universal lan- 
guage was and is to produce by abolition (of the trade) a disposition 
to "breed instead of buying. This is -the great vital principle which 
would work in every direction, and produce reform everywhere." 

In 1822, addressing the House of Commons, (vol. v. p. 131,) Wil- 
berforce gave the first intimation of his ultimate views for the West- 
Indies. " Not I only," he said, " but all the chief advocates of the 
abolition declared from the first that our object was, by ameliorating 
regulations, and by stopping the influx of uninstructed savages, to 
advance slowly toward the period when these unhappy beings might 
exchange their degraded state of slavery for that of a free and indus- 
trious peasantry. To that most interesting object I still look for- 

The following year, 1823, produced an order from the English min- 
istry that the whip should no longer be used in the correction of the 
slaves, and an insurrection broke out in Demarara, causing the death 
of some white men. " These results," saith the biographer, (vol. v. 
p. 201,) "Mr. Wilberforce had dreaded, as soon as he heard the mea- 
sures which government had taken. ' What !' he at once exclaimed, 
* have they given such an order without preparation, and without ex- 
plaining its purpose to the slaves why, it is positive madness. 1 " 

Speaking on the same subject in a letter to Z. Macaulay, (vol. v. 
p. 252,) he saith : " I am clear that we should become the assailants, 
and charge government with provoking the insurrection. As to the 
mode of carrying reforms into operation, I have thought precisely 
with you. The slaves, it appears to me, should be called together 


and told that henceforth they would not be flogged at the time, (in 
the field,) lut at night, after the day's work, if they had not con- 
ducted themselves properly." 

And in the same year, 1823, (voL v. p. 204,) we have this state- 
ment : " The conduct of-.St. Paul, in sending back the fugitive Onesi- 
mus, was brought against him in one of those attacks. ' St. Paul,' he 
answers, 'directed Philemon to regard him as a brother. He did not 
rend the civil tie that bound him to his master by individual power. 
No more do we ; but by directing him to be treated as a brother, did 
he not substantially claim for him even more than we ask for negro 
slaves ? " 

Finally, when he heard that the bill for emancipation had passed 
in 1833, though near his end, he exclaimed : "Thank God that I 
should have lived to witness the day in which England is willing to 
give twenty millions sterling for the abolition of slavery." (Vol. v. 
p. 370.) 

I have been thus particular in gleaning, from these volumes, the 
passages which distinctly prove the substantial agreement of Wilber- 
force with the principles which I, in my humble way, have always 
advocated. He attacked the slave-trade, and on this all are of the 
same mind, the Southern States included. He advocated the oreed. 
ing of the slaves in order to keep up the requisite number for the 
colonies. And such is the Southern system. He denied and repu- 
diated the intention of emancipating the slaves for twenty-seven yearg 
together. He advocated the use of the whip, only desiring that, in- 
stead of employing it in the field, it should be applied, if required, 
at night, when the work was over. He wished to ameliorate the con- 
dition of the slaves, without disturbing the institution itself, until 
near the close of his parliamentary course : and after emancipation 
was declared, he approved the paying a hundred millions of dollars 
to the masters. But even when he was led to "intimate the final 
result to which he had looked forward, he stated his policy to be a 
slow advance to the point of ultimate freedom, and that he hoped 
would be accomplished with the consent of the planters themselves, 

Where, in aU this, 4P we $ n d ^ n . e dogmas of our ultrarabolitionists, 
Ua slaveholding is a sin under any circumstances ; that it is a suffi- 
cient reason for debarring Christians from the Communion ; that it is 
a duty to disobey the laws of the land by refusing to return the fugi- 
tive slave to his master j that the Constitution which sanctions slavery 


" is a covenant with death and an agreement with hell," and must be 
done away ; that the negroes are entitled to immediate emancipation 
without any equivalent paid the owners ; that they have a right to a 
perfect equality with the European race ; that it is lawful to induce 
them to run away, and if the master presumes to apprehend them, 
that they are justified in killing him, so that they may thus obtain 
their freedom ? And, finally, that a desolating civil war, which owes 
its main origin to these very dogmas, shall be continued until fire 
and sword shall force the Southern States to bow down to their au- 
thority ? 

No, no, my Right Reverend Brother, not a trace of all this can be 
defended on the principles of Wilberforce. The British Parliament, 
under his guidance, proceeded carefully and cautiously, step by step, 
and were more than forty years before they arrived at the conclusion ; 
although they were not living, as we are, under a Constitution which 
stipulated for the existence of slavery, and confined the consideration 
of its policy to the government of the States concerned. The Church 
of England has never proclaimed her ban upon the institution, nor 
been known to make the holding of slaves a bar to her communion. 
And when, at last, emancipation was decreed, it was done, not only 
with true British justice and magnanimity, under the stipulation of 
payment to the masters, but also of apprenticeship to the freed 
slaves,, which bound them, for five years, to the service of their 
former owners, and made the transition from bondage to liberty more 
gradual and secure. 

Yet, with all these guards, the results of the measure have been 
far from satisfactory. And to the proof of this, I shall invite your 
attention in the next chapter. 



MY RIGHT REVEREND BROTHER : The eminent historian, Alison, in 
his History of Europe, gives us the following statement of the argu- 
ments employed by Wilberforce, Lord Howick, and Earl Grenville, 
for the abolition of the slave-trade, in A.D. 1806, before the British 
Parliament, and I commend the extract to the attention of all who 
are disposed to advocate the perilous dogma of immediate eman- 
cipation : 

" The grand, the decisive advantage," said they, " which recom- 
mends the abolition of the slave-trade, is, that, by closing that sup- 
ply of foreign negroes to which the planters have hitherto been 
accustomed to trust, we will compel them to promote the multiplica- 
tion of the slaves on their own estates, and it is obvious that this can 
not be done, without improving their physical and moral condition. 
The dangers so powerfully drawn, as likely to result from this meas- 
ure, are really to be apprehended, not from it, but from another 
with which it has no connection, viz. the immediate emancipation 
of the negroes. That would produce horrors similar to those which 
l.ave happened in St. Domingo. But nothing of that kind is in con- 
templation. On the contrary, it is expressly to exclude them, and 
induce that gradual emancipation which is called for, alike by just- 
ice to the planters and the interests of the slaves themselves, that 
the measure under discussion is proposed."* 

Nothing can prove, more decisively, the difference between the 
views entertained by those true Christian philanthropists of Old 
England, and the course which is so strongly urged by the school of 
our ultra-abolitionists in New-England. But if the dangers of imme- 
diate emancipation were deprecated so earnestly by Wilberforce and 
his colleagues, when the question only concerned the comparatively 
small number of negroes in their West-Indian Colonies, how much 
more would they have shrunk from incurring those dangers if they 

* Alison's History of Europe, 2 vols. p. 40T. Harper's Ed. 1S43. 


had been placed in our circumstances, with the safety of fourteen 
States, and the condition of four millions of slaves, depending on the 
issue ! 

I proceed, however, to the remarks of the historian upon the 
results which followed the English movement, guarded as it was by 
so much of cautious wisdom. 

" There can be no question," saith our author, " that this great 
step was recommended by every consideration of justice and human- 
ity. Nevertheless its effects hitherto have been in the highest degree 
deplorable. The prophecy of Mr. Hibbert and the opponents of the 
abolition, that the slave-trade, instead of ceasing, would only change 
hands, and at length fall into the management of desperate wretches 
who would double its horrors, has been too fatally verified, and to an ex- 
tent even greater than they anticipated. From the returns laid before 
Parliament it appears that the slave-trade is now four times as exten- 
sive as it was in 1789, and twice as great as it was when the efforts 
of Mr. Wilberforce procured its abolition in the British dominions. 
Nearly 200,000 captives now annually cross the Atlantic. Their 
former sufferings in the large and capacious Liverpool slave-ships 
were as nothing compared to those which they now endure, in the 
hands of the Spanish and the Portuguese. And they are brought, 
not to the comparatively easy life of the British West-India Islands, 
but to the desperate service of Cuba or Brazil, in the latter of which 
they are worked like animals, in droves of several hundreds, without 
a single female among them, and without any attempt to perpetuate 
their race. They are thus worn down to the grave by a lingering 
process, which, on an average, terminates their existence in seven 

"The precipitate and irretrievable step of emancipation, forced on 
the Legislature in 1834, by benevolent but incautious, and perhaps, 
mistaken feeling, has already occasioned so great a decline in the 
produce of the British West-Indies, and excited such general ex- 
pectations of a still greater and increasing deficiency, that the im- 
pulse thereby given to the foreign slave-trade to fill up the gap, 
has been unbounded, and, it is to be feared, almost irremediable."* 

" It is the multitude who forced on those measures," continues the 
historian, " who frustrated all the benevolent efforts of Mr. Wilber- 

* Alison's History of Europe, vol. ii. p. 499. 


force and Mr. Fox, and rendered the abolition of the slave-trade in 
the British dominions the remote and innocent cause of boundless 
misfortunes to the negro race. The British slaves, since the slave- 
trade was abolished, had become fully equal to the wants of the 
colonies ; their numbers were on the increase, their condition was 
comfortable and prosperous beyond that of any peasantry in Europe, 
and large numbers were annually purchasing their freedom from the 
produce of their own industry. But now all these admirable effects 
of the abolition of the slave-trade have been completely frustrated, 
and the humane but deluded inhabitants of Great Britain are bur- 
dened with twenty millions, to ruin, in the end, their own planters, 
consign to barbarism their own negroes, cut off a principal branch of 
their naval strength, and double the slave-trade in extent, and quad- 
ruple it in horrors throughout the world."* 

I shall close my extracts from this distinguished writer with a 
passage of great force, which adds the profound wisdom of the phi- 
losopher to the truth of the historian. Speaking of the system of 
Russian slavery, which has since been done away, he saith : 

" The laborers on an estate constitute, as they formerly did in^the 
West-Indies, the chief part of its value, and thus the proprietor is 
induced to take care of his slaves by the same motives which prompt 
him to do so with his buildings or his cattle. Relief in sickness, 
care of orphans, maintenance of the maimed, or in old age, are im- 
portant advantages to the laboring classes, even in the most favorable 
circumstances, and with all the facilities for rendering themselves 
independent, which the habits of civilized life, and the power of ac- 
cumulating and preserving capital arising from the interchange of com- 
merce, afford. In rude periods, when these advantages are unknown, 
and the means of providing during the vigor for the weakness of life 
do not exist, they are of inestimable value. Stripes, insults, and 
compulsory labor, are no light evils, but they are as nothing com- 
pared to the wasting agonies of famine, and the violetfce of ill-directed 
and ungovernable passions, which never fail to seize upon prema- 
turely emancipated man. The servitude and forced industry of the 
serf fills up the interval, the long and important interval, between 
the roving independence of the savage, who lives by the chase, or 
the milk of his herds, and the voluntary toil of the freeman, around 

* AUtotfi Hietory qf Europe, vol. ii. p. 600. 


whom artificial wants have thrown the unseen but riveted chains of 
civilized life. But for its existence, this wide chasm could never 
have been passed, for man will never labor voluntarily till Tie has 
acquired the habits and desires of an advanced state of society ; and 
those habits, when generally pervading the community, can exist 
only from the effect of previous centuries of compulsory labor."* 

Such are the opinions of an author who occupies a high place 
amongst the most enlightened and thoroughly informed historians of 
the age, and whose proclivities, from his birth, his education, and 
his natural sympathy with the tone of sentiment around him, would 
all tend to an exaggerated estimate of the evils of slavery, and the 
advantages of freedom. I could add a large amount of other testi- 
mony, to prove the correctness of his views upon the dangers of 
sudden and hasty emancipation. But it is unnecessary. The state- 
ments of this eminent writer are enough for any candid mind, and to 
those who are fond of their delusion, and determined to maintain it, 
all the facts and arguments which could be heaped together would 
be addressed in vain. 

* Alison's History of Bwope, vol. Iv. p. 12-13. Harper's Ed. 1843. 



RIGHT REVEREND BROTHER : The favorite argument of our ultra- 
abolitionists is derived from the assumption that the slave-system of 
the South is in direct contrariety to the Gospel, and that the extinc- 
tion of slavery in Europe was owing to the influence of Christianity. 
No statement can be more utterly unsupported by the facts of history, 
although it is repeated, over and over again, by writers and orators, 
who ought to know better. But I am sorry to say that it is the 
fashion of too many to repeat these declarations with as much confi- 
dence as if they were self-evident, and, like the axioms in mathemat- 
ics, needed no demonstration ; because they are perfectly aware that 
tjjpf are always acceptable to those who have no personal interest in 
the institution, and that very few will object to the eloquence which 
seems to honor religion, when it costs them nothing more than an 
empty tribute of applause. 

I have already shown, by the most abundant testimony, that the 
Church of Christ, from the beginning, recognized slavery as a system 
established by the laws of the State, in accordance with the wisdom 
of Divine Providence ; and I have now to prove, by the best writers 
of law and history, that the causes which led to its extinction in 
Europe were entirely of a civil and not of a religious character. This, 
indeed, would be a necessary result from the evidence which I have 
so largely furnished ; but I desire to set it forth with the full force of 
many concurrent witnesses. 

The system of slavery, as it formerly existed amongst our Euro- 
pean ancestors, is thus stated by the historian Hume. (Appendix to 
vol. i. p. 136.) 

" The most numerous rank by far, in the community, seems to 
have been the slaves or villeins who were the property of their lords, 
and were consequently incapable of possessing any property. The 
power of the master was not unlimited among the Anglo-Saxons, as 
it was among their ancestors. If a man beat out his slave's eye or 


teeth, the slave recovered his liberty ; if he killed him, he paid a fine 
to the king, provided the slave died within a day after the wound 
or blow ; otherwise he passed unpunished. The selling of themselves 
or children to slavery was always in practice among the German 
nations, and was continued by the Anglo-Saxons." 

Blackstone, in his commentaries, is more express. " Under the 
Saxon government," saith he, " there were, as Sir William Temple 
speaks, a sort of people in a condition of downright servitude, used 
and employed in the most servile works, and belonging, both they, 
their children, and effects, to the lord of the soil, like the rest of the 
cattle or stock upon it. On the arrival of the Normans here, it seems 
not improbable that they who were strangers to any other than a 
feudal state, might give some sparks of enfranchisement to such 
wretched persons as fell to their share, by admitting them, as well as 
others, to the oath of fealty ; which conferred a right of protection, 
and raised the tenant to a kind of estate superior to downright 
slavery, but inferior to every other condition. This they called 
villenage, and the tenants villeins, either from the word mlis, or 
else, as Sir Edward Coke tells us, a villa, because they lived chiefly 
in villages, and were employed in rustic works of the most sordid 
kind." (Bl. Com. b. ii. ch. vi. sec. 3, p. 92.) 

"These villeins, belonging principally to lords of manors, were 
either villeins regardant that is, annexed to the manor or land or 
else they were in gross, or .at large that is, annexed to the person of 
the lord, and transferable by deed from one owner to another. They 
could not leave their lord without his permission, but if they ran 
away, or were purloined from him, might be claimed and recovered 
by action, like beasts or other chattels." (Ib. p. 93.) 

" The children of villeins were also in the same state of bondage 
with their parents. The law, however, protected the persons of vil- 
leins, as the king's subjects, against atrocious injuries of the lord ; 
for he might not kill or maim his villein, though he might beat him 
with impunity." (Ib. p. 93-4.) 

" When tenure in villenage was virtually abolished by the statute 
of Charles II., there was hardly a pure villein left in the nation. 
For Sir Thomas Smith testifies that in all his time (and he was 
Secretary to Edward VI.) he never knew any villein in gross through- 
out the realm, and the few villeins regardant that were then remain- 
ing were such only as had belonged to bishops, monasteries, or 


other ecclesiastical corporations, in the preceding times of popery." 
(Ib. p. 96.) 

Here then, we see that this sort of English slavery died out by 
degrees, without any direct assault either by Church or State. The 
villeins were of the same race of Anglo-Saxons, and there was no bar- 
rier of color to prevent their gradual emancipation. But to prove 
conclusively that Christianity had nothing to do with the change, 
the last of the villeins that remained were those who belonged to the 
bishops, the monasteries, and other ecclesiastical corporations. It if 
perfectly manifest that if the Church had disapproved the system, as 
being inconsistent with the Gospel, the bishops and the monasteries 
would have been the first, instead of the last, to let their bondmen go. 

GIBBON. 265 


RIGHT REVEREND BROTHER : The next witness to the state of slavery 
during the first centuries of the Christian era, is the historian Gibbon, 
from whose luminous and accurate pages I shall quote a highly inter- 
esting statement on the subject, for my readers' satisfaction. 

After giving a masterly sketch of the Roman polity and law, this 
admirable writer proceeds as follows, viz. : 

" It was by such institutions that the nations of the empire insen- 
sibly melted away into the Roman name and people. But there still 
remained, in the centre of every province and of every family, an 
unhappy condition of men who endured the weight, without sharing 
the benefits of society. In the free states of antiquity, the domestic 
slaves were exposed to the wanton rigors of despotism. The slaves 
consisted, for the most part, of barbarian captives, taken in thousands 
by the chance of war, purchased at a vile price, accustomed to a life 
of independence, and impatient to break and avenge their fetters. 
Against such internal enemies, whose desperate insurrections had 
more than once reduced the republic to the brink of destruction, the 
most severe regulations and the most cruel treatment seemed almost 
justified by the great law of self-preservation. But when the princi- 
pal nations of Europe, Asia, and Africa, were united under the laws 
of one sovereign, the source of foreign supplies flowed with much 
less abundance, and the Romans were reduced to the milder but 
more tedious method of propagation. In their numerous families, and 
particularly in their country estates, they encouraged the marriage of 
their slaves. The sentiments of nature, the habits of education, and 
the possession of a dependent species of property, contributed to alle- 
viate the hardships of servitude. The existence of a slave became 
an object of greater value, and though his happiness still depended 
on the temper and circumstances of the master, the humanity of the 
latter, instead of being restrained by fear, was encouraged by th 

266 GIBBON. 

sense of his own interest. The progress of manners was accelerated 
by the virtue or policy of the emperors ; and by the edicts of Had- 
rian and the Antonines, the protection of the laws was extended to 
the most abject part of mankind. The jurisdiction of life and death 
over the slaves a power long exercised and often abused was taken 
out of private hands, and reserved to the magistrates alone. The 
subterranean prisons were abolished, and upon a just complaint of 
intolerable treatment, the injured slave obtained either his deliverance 
or a less cruel master." 

" Hope, the best comfort of our imperfect condition, was not denied 
to the Roman slave ; and if he had any opportunity of rendering him- 
self either useful or agreeable, he might very naturally expect that 
the diligence and fidelity of a few years would be rewarded with the 
inestimable gift of freedom. The benevolence of the master was so 
frequently prompted by the meaner suggestions of vanity and avarice, 
that the laws found it more necessary to restrain than to encourage 
a profuse and undistinguishing liberality, which might degenerate 
into a very dangerous abuse. It was a maxim of ancient jurispru- 
dence, that as a slave had not any country of his own, he acquired 
with his liberty an admission into the political society of which his 
patron was a member. The consequences of this maxim would have 
prostituted the privileges of the Roman city to a mean and promiscu- 
ous multitude. Some reasonable exceptions were therefore provided ; 
and the honorable distinction was confined to such slaves only as, 
for just causes, and with the approbation of the magistrate, should 
receive a solemn and legal manumission. Even those chosen freed- 
men obtained no more than the private rights of citizens, and were 
rigorously excluded from civil or military honors. Whatever might 
be the merit or fortune of their sons, they likewise were esteemed 
unworthy of a seat in the Senate ; nor were the traces of a servile 
origin allowed to be completely obliterated till the third or fourth 
generation." (Gibborfs Decline and Fall, etc., vol. i. pp. 51-2. 
New- York ed. 1822.) 

"The youths of a promising genius," (among the slaves,) continues 
our author, " were instructed in the arts and sciences, and their price 
was ascertained by the degree of their skill and talents. Almost 
every profession, either liberal or mechanical, might be found in the 
house of an opulent senator. It was more for the interest of the 
merchant or manufacturer to purchase than to hire his workmen ; 

GIBBON. 267 

and in the country, slaves were employed as the cheapest and most 
laborious instruments of agriculture. Four hundred slaves were 
maintained in a single palace of Rome. The same number belonged 
to an estate which an African widow, of a very private condition, 
resigned to her son, while she reserved to herself a much larger share 
of her property. A freedman, under the reign of Augustus, though 
his fortune had suffered great losses in the civil wars, left behind him 
three thousand six hundred yoke of oxen, two hundred and fifty 
thousand head of smaller cattle, and, what was almost included in 
the description of cattle, four thousand one hundred and sixteen 
slaves." (Ib. pp. 52-3.) 

With regard to the immense number of the slaves, the historian 
makes the following estimate : 

"After weighing with attention every circumstance which could 
influence the balance, it seems probable that there existed, in the 
time of the Emperor Claudius, about one hundred and twenty mil- 
lions of persons, a degree of population which possibly exceeds that 
of modern. Europe, and forms the most numerous society that has 
ever been united under the same system of government. The slaves 
were at least equal in number to the free inhabitants of the Roman 
world." (Ib. p. 53-4.) 

On this copious extract from our eminent historian, I would sug- 
gest a few points worthy of special observation. 

1. That these sixty millions of slaves included a vast multitude, 
equal, in capacity and intellect, to their masters. Descended as they 
were from all the nations with whom the Romans had ever been at 
war, there were doubtless some Africans, but the greater part, by far, 
were Asiatics and Europeans; and Greeks, Germans, Gauls, and 
Britons were in abundance amongst them. Their system was not 
confined to one savage and barbarous race, taken from the most 
degraded portion of the human family, as it is in the Southern States. 
And hence it is easy to account for the fact that they were far more 
liable to insurrections, and that those insurrections were much more 
formidable ; because the great majority of the slaves possessed a full 
amount of native energy and talent. The most serious of these revolts 
had for its leader Spartacus, a Greek, who was a noted gladiator. To 
such men as these, slavery must indeed have been a galling debase- 
ment. "While, to the negro race, it has been the means of improve- 

268 . GIBBON. 

ment and elevation, greatly superior to any condition which they 
enjoyed before. 

2. I would remark, in the next place, the checks which the 
Roman government thought necessary to prevent indiscriminate 
emancipation, and the restraints which they placed on the freedmen, 
not permitting them to be admitted into the army, nor to hold any 
civil office, until the third or fourth generation. Notwithstanding 
their equality of race, and the progress of many amongst them 
in art and science, the idea that a newly-emancipated slave was forth- 
with fit for the full privileges of freemen, was regarded, by these wise 
ancients, as an utter absurdity. 

3. And lastly, I must charge the historian with a very unfair 
omission, where he speaks of the causes which produced so great an 
amelioration in the treatment of the slaves. For these causes were 
mainly the results of the Gospel. We have seen, in the early fathers 
and councils of the Christian Church, how earnestly they set forth 
the precepts of the Apostles in the duty of the masters, to be just, 
and kind, and merciful to those whom they held in bondage. It was 
the proper office of the Church, from the beginning, not to make the 
slightest effort to abolish the institution, but to render its practical 
administration as consistent as possible with justice and with love. 
This gifted historian, however, was an infidel philosopher ; and much 
as we may admire his learning, his accuracy, and his style, we could 
hardly expect from his pen a willing tribute to the humane and puri- 
fying influence of Christianity. 



RIGHT REVEREND BROTHER : The next historical testimony bearing 
on the subject, is that of Robertson, whose celebrated work on the 
reign of Charles V. gives a clear statement of slavery in Europe, an- 
terior to the sixteenth century. I quote from Note ix. vol. 1, p. 191, 
of Hosford's ed. 1822 : 

"The servi, or slaves," saith this author, "seem to have been the 
most numerous class, and consisted either of captives taken in war, 
or of persons, the property in whom was acquired in some of the 
various methods enumerated by Du Cange, voc. servus, v. 6, p. 447. 
The wretched condition of this numerous class will appear from sev- 
eral circumstances. 1. Their masters had absolute dominion over 
their persons. They had the power of punishing their slaves capi- 
tally, without the intervention of any judge. This dangerous right 
they possessed not only in the more early periods, when their man- 
ners were fierce, but it continued as late as the twelfth century. Even 
after the jurisdiction of masters came to be restrained, the life of a 
slave was deemed to be of so little value, that a very slight compen- 
sation atoned for taking it away. They were not originally permitted 
to marry. During several centuries after the barbarous nations em- 
braced the Christian religion, slaves who lived as husband and wife 
were not joined together by any religious ceremony, and did not re- 
ceive the nuptial benediction from a priest. When this conjunction 
came to be considered as a lawful marriage, they were not permitted 
to marry without the consent of their master ; and such as ventured 
to do so, without obtaining that, were punished with great severity, 
and sometimes were put to death. When the manners of the Euro- 
pean nations became more gentle, and their ideas more liberal, slaves 
who married without their master's consent were subjected only to a 
fine. All the children of slaves were in the same condition with their 
parents, and became the property of their masters ; and that so en- 
tirely, that they could sell them at pleasure. Slaves had a title to 


nothing but subsistence and clothes from their master ; all the profit 
of their labor accrued to him. Conformably to the same principle, 
all the effects of slaves belonged to their master after death, and they 
could not dispose of them by testament. It was enacted in the laws 
of almost all the nations of Europe, that no slave should be admitted 
to give evidence against a freeman in a court of justice." 

" The villani (or serfs) were adscripts glebte or villa, (bound to the 
soil or village,) from which they derived their name, and were trans- 
ferable along with it But in this they differed from slaves, that they 
paid a fixed rent to their masters for the land which they cultivated, 
and after paying that, all the fruits of their labor and industry be- 
longed to themselves." 

" Such was the spirit of tyranny, however, which prevailed among 
the great proprietors of lands, and so various were the opportunities 
of oppressing those who were settled on their estates, or of rendering 
their condition intolerable, that many freemen, in despair, renounced 
their liberty, and voluntarily surrendered themselves as slaves to 
their powerful masters. This they did in order that their masters 
might become more immediately interested to afford them protection, 
together with the means of subsisting themselves and their families. 
It was still more common for freemen to surrender their liberty to 
bishops or abbots, that they might partake of the security which the 
vassals and slaves of churches and monasteries enjoyed, in conse- 
quence of the superstitious veneration paid to the saint under whose 
immediate protection they were supposed to be taken. The number 
of slaves in every nation of Europe was immense. The greater part 
of the inferior class of people, in France, were reduced to this state 
at the commencement of the third race of kings. The same was the 
case in England." 

In another part of this volume, (Note 20, 1, p. 229,) the histo- 
rian, Dr. Robertson, states the practice of manumission on religious 
motives which actuated individuals, and then (p. 232) proceeds to say 
that "as sentiments of religion induced some to grant liberty to their 
fellow-Christians who groaned under the yoke of servitude, so mis- 
taken ideas concerning devotion led others to relinquish their liberty. 
The oblati, or voluntary slaves of churches or monasteries were very 
numerous. How zealous the clergy were to encourage the opinion 
which led to this practice will appear from a charter by which one 
gives himself up as a slave to a monastery. Great, however, as the 


power of religion was, it does not appear that the enfranchisement of 
slaves was a frequent practice while the feudal system preserved its 
vigor. On the contrary, there were laws which set bounds to it, as 
detrimental to society. The inferior order of men owed the recovery 
of their liberty to the decline of that aristocrat ical policy, which lodged 
the most extensive power in the hands of a few members of the so- 
ciety, and depressed all the rest. When Louis X. issued his ordinance, 
several slaves had been so long accustomed to servitude, and their 
minds were so much debased by that unhappy situation, that they re- 
fused to accept of the liberty which was offered them. Long after 
the reign of Louis X. several of the French nobility continued to as- 
sert their ancient dominion over their slaves. It appears from an 
ordinance of the famous Bertrand de Guesclin, Constable of France, 
that the custom of enfranchising them was considered a pernicious 
innovation. There is no general law for the manumission of slaves 
in the statute-book of England, similar to that of the kings of France. 
Though the genius of the English Constitution seems early to have 
favored personal liberty, personal servitude, nevertheless, continued 
long in England in some particular places. In the year 1514, we find 
a Charter of Henry VIII. enfranchising two slaves belonging to one 
of his manors. As late as the year 1574, there is a Commission from 
Queen Elizabeth with respect to the manumission of certain bondmen 
belonging to her." 

I have extracted the whole of these passages at great length, be- 
cause I wish to give the reader the fullest information in my power. 
But their evidence is clear on two points, which properly belong to 
my argument. First, that large numbers of freemen became volun- 
tary slaves to the churches and monasteries in Europe, and that the 
clergy were zealous to encourage the practice ; a very decisive proof 
that no sin was attached to the relation in their judgment. And 
secondly, that the inferior order of men owed the recovery of their 
liberty, not, as is commonly supposed, to the influence of Christianity, 
but to the decline of the aristocratic feudal system. Here, therefore, 
we have another proof of the same fact, viz. that the Church did not 
consider it a religious duty to meddle with the law of the State on 
this subject, but took a full share in the existing institution, while her 
influence was used to ameliorate and improve the treatment of the 
slaves, both by precept and example. Hence, freemen, who were dis- 


posed to seek the greater protection which slavery gave them, during 
those turbulent ages of baronial strife and contention, preferred to 
have the Church or the monastery for their master ; because they 
knew that they would there experience a milder and kindlier exercise 
of authority than they could expect elsewhere. 

MOTLEY. 273 


RIGHT REVEREND BROTHER : There are some interesting statements 
of our distinguished American historian, Mr. Motley, in his " Dutch 
Republic," to which I shall next invite your attention. 

Thus, speaking of the Gauls, in the time of Julius Cesar, he saith : 
that " the people were all slaves. The knights or nobles were all 
trained to arms. The people had no rights at all, and were glad to 
assign themselves as slaves to any noble who was strong enough to 
protect them. In peace, the Druids exercised the main functions of 
government." (Vol. 1, p. V-8.) 

" The Anglo-Saxon Willibrod, in the eighth century, destroyed the 
images of Woden in Walcheren, and founded churches in North Hoi 
land. Charles Martel rewarded him with extensive domains above 
U trecht, together with many slaves and other chattels. Soon after- 
wards he was consecrated Bishop of all the Frisians. Thus arose 
the famous episcopate of Utrecht." (Ib. p. 31.) 

Describing the condition of the Netherlands in the tenth century, 
the historian saith that " slavery was both voluntary and compulsory. 
Paupers sold themselves that they might escape starvation. The 
timid sold themselves that they might escape violence. These volun- 
tary sales, which were frequent, were usually made to cloisters and 
ecclesiastical establishments, for the condition of Church slaves was 
preferable to that of other serfs. Persons worsted in judicial duels, 
shipwrecked sailors, vagrants, strangers, criminals unable to pay the 
money-bote imposed on them, were all deprived of freedom ; but the 
prolific source of slavery was war. Prisoners were almost univer- 
sally reduced to servitude. A free woman who intermarried with a 
slave, condemned herself and, offspring to perpetual bondage. The 
number of slaves throughout the Netherlands was very large ; the 
number belonging to the Bishopric of Utrecht, enormous." (Ib. 
pp. 32-3.) 


274 MOTLEY. 

Tracing the progress of society, Mr. Motley gives the following 
masterly sketch: "The Crusades," saith he, "made great improve- 
ment in the condition of the serfs. He who became a soldier of the 
Cross, was free on his return, and many were adventurous enough to 
purchase liberty at so honorable a price* Many others were sold or 
mortgaged by the crusading knights, desirous of converting their 
property into gold, before embarking upon their enterprise. The 
purchasers or mortgagees were in general churches or convents, so 
that the slaves thus alienated obtained at least a preferable servitude. 
The place of the absent serfs was supplied with free labor, so that 
agricultural and mechanical occupations, now devolving on a more 
elevated class, became less degrading, and, in process of time, opened 
an ever-widening sphere for the industry and progress of freemen. 
Thus a people began to exist. It was, however, a miserable people, 
with personal but no civil rights whatever. Their condition, although 
better than servitude, was almost desperate." (Vol. 1, p. 33-4.) 

And the change which gradually brought about the general decline 
of the feudal system of vassalage, is rightly stated by Mr. Motley to 
have been not religion but commerce. " In the fifteenth century," 
saith he, " commerce had converted slaves into freemen, freemen into 
burghers, and the burghers were daily acquiring a larger hold upon 
the government." (Ib. p. 42.) 

And to prove, still further, how little the change had to do with 
the idea that slavery was inconsistent with religion, we find the fol- 
lowing historical fact, a hundred years later. At the battle of Le- 
panto, in A.D. 1545, our author states correctly that "the Turks 
taken prisoners were made slaves to the victorious Spaniards." 

" The Turkish slaves," saith he, " were divided among the victors 
in the proportion of one half to Philip, and one half to the Pope and 
Venice. Don John received, as a present, one hundred and seventy- 
four slaves. Alexander of Parma received thirty slaves ; Requesens 
thirty. To each general of infantry was assigned six slaves ; to each 
colonel, four ; to each ship's captain, one. The number of slaves in 
chains allotted to Philip was 3600. Seven thousand two hundre^ 
Turkish slaves, therefore, at least, were divided among Christians." 
(Dutch Republic, v. 3. p. 140, in note.) 

These extracts serve to demonstrate the universal judgment of 
Christendom, that there was no sin in holding slaves. In their treat- 
ment there might be, and doubtless was, an abundance of sin. And 

MOTLEY. 275 

amongst fallen creatures like ourselves, there is no relation of society 
in which we are not compelled to say the same. It is the result of 
Christianity to improve the administration of all the relations of life, 
by bringing mankind under the government of heaven. And slavery 
was thus improved, among the rest. But to abolish it was another 
matter, which belonged to the State, and not to the Church. Hence 
we find that the Church has never meddled with it, because the 
Church is the~ Kingdom of Christ, which is "not of this world." 
And therefore she leaves the State to manage its temporal interests 
in its own way, always willing to "render unto Caesar the things that 
be Caesar's," while she " renders unto God the things that be God's.'* 



RIGHT REVEREND BROTHER : The celebrated case of the negro Som- 
erset, as you probably know, produced, in the year 1772, a new era 
of thought in- England on the subject of slavery ; and doubtless aided 
powerfully, under the great authority of Lord Mansfield, to attach 
many influential minds to the side of Wilberforce, in his subsequent 
assault upon the slave-trade. 

On the side of the negro, who claimed his freedom from West-In- 
dian slavery on the ground that his master had brought him to Eng- 
land, where slavery was no longer known, the eminent lawyer Har- 
grave, with others, was engaged, and his written argument is in the 
State Trials. (Vol. 11 and 12, app. p. 340.) From this very learned 
and interesting specimen of legal and historical research, I shall ex- 
tract another testimony which well deserves attention. Of course 
you will remember on which side this accomplished jurist was re- 

" Notwithstanding," saith Mr. Hargrave, " the force of the reasons 
against the allowance of domestic slavery, there are civilians of great 
credit who insist on its utility. This opinion is favored by Puffen- 
dorf, and Ulricus Huberus. In the dissertation on slavery prefixed 
to Potgiesserus on the German law, De Statu /Servorum, the opinion 
is examined minutely and defended." 

41 The great origin of slavery is captivity in war, though sometimes 
it has been commenced by contract. It has been a question much 
agitated, whether either of these foundations of slavery is consistent 
with natural justice. It would be engaging in too large a field of inquiry 
to attempt reasoning on the general lawfulness of slavery. I trust, 
too that the liberty for which I am contending does not require such 
a disquisition, and am impatient to reach that part of my argument 
in which I hope to prove slavery reprobated by the law of England 
as an inconvenient thing. Here, therefore, I shall only refer to some 


of the most eminent writers, who have examined how far slavery, 
founded on captivity or contract, is conformable to the law of nature, 
and shall just hint at the reasons which influence their several opin- 

" The ancient writers suppose the right of killing an enemy van- 
quished in a just war, and thence infer the right of enslaving him. 
In this opinion, founded, as I presume, on the idea of punishing the en- 
emy for his injustice, they are followed by Albericus Gentilis, Grotius, 
Puffendorf, Bynker&hoeck, and many others. But in The Spirit of 
Laws (Montesquieu) the right of killing is denied, except in case of ab- 
solute necessity, and for self-preservation. However, when a country 
is conquered, the author seems to admit the conqueror's right of en- 
slaving for a short time, that is, till the conquest is effectually secured. 
Dr. Rutherford, not satisfied with the right of killing a vanquished 
enemy, infers the right of enslaving him from the conqueror's right to 
a reparation in damages for the expenses of the war. The lawfulness 
of slavery by contract is assented to by Grotim and Puffendorf, 
who found themselves on the maintenance of the slave, which is the 
consideration moving from the master." 

"But however reasonable it may be to doubt the justice of domes- 
tic slavery, however convinced we may be of its ill effects, it must be 
confessed that the practice is ancient, and has been almost universal. 
Its beginning may be dated from the remotest period, in which there 
are any traces of the history of mankind. It commenced in the bar- 
barous state of society, and was retained, even when men were far 
advanced in civilization. The nations of antiquity most famous for 
countenancing the system of domestic slavery, were the Jews, the 
Greeks, the Romans, and the ancient Germans, amongst all of whom 
it prevailed, T^ut in various degrees of severity. By the ancient Ger- 
mans it was continued in the countries they overran ; and so was 
transmitted to the various kingdoms and states which arose in Europe 
out of the ruins of the Roman Empire. At length, however, it fell 
into decline in most parts of Europe. The history of its decline in 
Europe has been traced by many eminent writers, particularly Bodin, 
Albericus Gentilis, Potgiesserus, Dr. Robertson, and Mr. Millar. It 
is sufficient here to say that this great change began in Spain, accord- 
ing to Bodin, about the end of the eighth century, and was become 
general before the middle of the fourteenth century. Bartolus, the 
most famed commentator on the Civil Law, in that period, represents 


slavery as in disuse, and the succeeding commentators hold much the 
same language. However, they must be understood with many re- 
strictions and exceptions, and not to mean that slavery was completely 
and universally abolished in Europe. Some modern civilians, not 
sufficiently attending to this circumstance, rather too hastily repre- 
hend their predecessors for representing slavery as disused in Europe. 
The truth is that the ancient species of slavery, by frequent emanci- 
pations, became greatly diminished in extent, the remnant of it was 
considerably abated in severity ; and the disuse of the practice of 
enslaving captives taken in the wars between Christian powers, as- 
sisted in preventing the future increase of domestic slavery." 

"Such was the expiring state of domestic slavery in Europe at the 
commencement of the sixteenth century, when the discovery of 
America and of the western and eastern coasts of Africa gave occa- 
sion to the introduction of a new species of slavery. It took its rise 
from the Portuguese, who, in order to supply the Spaniards with 
persons able to sustain the fatigue of cultivating their new posses- 
sions in America, particularly the islands, opened a trade between 
Africa and America for the sale of negro slaves. This disgraceful 
commerce in the human species is said to have begun in the year 
1508, when the first importation of negro slaves was made into His- 
paniola from the Portuguese settlements on the western coasts of 
Africa. In 1540 the Emperor Charles V. endeavored to stop the 
progress of the negro* slavery, by orders that all slaves in the Ameri- 
can isles should be made free ; and they were accordingly manumit- 
ted by Lagasca, the governor of the country, on condition of contin- 
uing to labor for their masters. But this attempt proved unsuccess- 
ful, and on Lagasca's return to Spain, domestic slavery revived and 
flourished as before. The expedient of having slaves for labor in 
America was not long peculiar to the Spaniards, being afterwards 
adopted by the other Europeans as they acquired possessions there. 
In consequence of this general practice, negroes are become a very 
considerable article in the commerce between Africa and America, 
and domestic slavery has taken so deep a root in most of our Ameri- 
can colonies, as well as in those of other nations, that there is little 
probability of our seeing it generally suppressed." 

"The law of England," continues Mr. Hargrave, "never recognized 
any species of domestic slavery except the ancient one of villenage, 
now expired ; and has sufficiently provided against the introduction 


of a new slavery under the name of villenage, or any other denomina- 
tion whatever." 

" The condition of a villein had most of the incidents belonging to 
slavery in general. His service was uncertain, and indeterminate, 
such as his lord thought fit to require he was liable to beating, 
imprisonment, and every other chastisement his lord could devise, 
except killing and maiming. He was incapable of acquiring property 
for his own benefit, the rule being, quicquid acquiritur servo, 
acquiritur domino. He was himself the subject of property ; as 
such saleable and transmissable. If he was a villein regardant, he 
passed with the manor or land to which he was annexed, but might 
be severed, at the pleasure of his lord. If he was a villein in gross, 
he was an hereditament or a chattel real according to his lord's inter- 
est, being descendible to the heir when the lord was absolute owner, 
and transmissible to the executor when the lord had only a term of 
years. Lastly, the slavery extended to the issue if both parents were 
villeins, or if the father only was a villein ; our law deriving the con- 
dition of the child from that of the father, contrary to the Roman 
law, in which the rule was, Partus sequitur ventrem" 

" The origin of villenage is principally to be derived from the wars 
between our British, Saxon, Danish, and Norman ancestors, whilst 
they were contending for the possession of the country." 

"After the Conquest, many things concurred happily, first, to 
eheck the progress of domestic slavery in England, and finally to 
suppress it. The cruel custom of enslaving captives in war being 
abolished, from that time the accession of a new race of villeins was 
prevented ; and the humanity, policy and necessity of the times were 
continually wearing out the ancient race. Sometimes, no doubt, 
manumissions were freely granted, but they probably were much 
oftener extorted during the rage of the civil wars, so frequent before 
the reign of Henry VII., about the forms of the constitution or the 
successions to the crown. Another cause which greatly contributed 
to the extinction of villenage, was the discouragement of it by the 
courts of justice. They always presumed in favor of liberty, throw- 
ing the onus probandi upon the lord. And manumissions were in- 
ferred from the slightest circumstances of mistake or negligence in 
the lord, from every act or omission which legal refinement could 
strain into an acknowledgment of the villein's liberty. I shall not 
attempt to follow villenage in the several stages of its decline, it being 


sufficient to mention the time of its extinction, which, as all agree, 
happened about the latter end of Elizabeth's reign, or soon after the 
accession of James. From the fifteenth of James I., being more than 
one hundred and fifty years ago, the claim of villenage has not been 
heard in our courts of justice : and nothing can be more notorious, 
than that the race of persons who were once the objects of it, was 
about that time completely worn out by the continued and united 
operation of death and manumissions." 

The conclusion of Mr. Hargrave was, that " the law of England 
excludes every slavery not commencing in England, every slavery, 
though commencing there, not Jteing ancient and immemorial. Vil- 
lenage is the only slavery which can possibly answer to such a 
description, and that has long expired by the deaths and emancipa- 
tions of those who were once the objects of it. Consequently there 
is now no slavery which can be lawful in England, until the legisla- 
ture shall interfere to make it so." 

Lord Mansfield decided the case in accordance with this argument, 
as you doubtless know, and the slave was pronounced to be a free- 
man. But I have quoted so largely from Mr. Hargrave, in order to 
show the perfect accordance of his statements with the position which 
I have maintained. 

For he does not say one word about the sinfulnesB of slaveholding, 
nor claim any action of the Church against it, as being inconsistent 
with religion or morality. He admits that the great majority of the 
most eminent writers were in favor of it on the ground of natural jus- 
tice. He attributes its extinction in England, not to any direct 
opposition by Church or State, but to its gradual decay, by death 
and manumission ; and while he contemplates the establishment of 
negro slavery in the colonies as a settled practice, he contents him- 
self with opposing its introduction into England as an inconvenient 
thing, not warranted by law, nor agreeable to modern usage, since 
slavery had ceased to exist there, in any form, one hundred and fifty 
years before. 



RIGHT REVEREND BROTHER: The public feeling in England, with 
respect to negro slavery, at the time when our Constitution was 
established, is set forth with great ability in a manuscript defense of 
the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Dred Scott, which 
has been sent to me by a friend. And from this I shall take a few 
additional facts, in corroboration of the preceding statements. 

The treaty of Utrecht, which crowned the victories of Maryborough, 
in the reign of Queen Anne, A.D. 1713, was distinguished by a spe- 
cial regard to the slave-trade, securing to the English African com- 
pany a monopoly in the introduction of negroes into the several ports 
of Spanish America, for the term of thirty years. And the first 
Article of this treaty stipulated that this company should bring into 
the West-Indies one hundred and forty-four thousand negroes, 
within that period, being at the rate of four thousand eight hundred 
in every year, one fourth part of the commercial profits being re- 
served to the King of Spain, and another fourth part to the Queen 
of England. The negro race was then held to be a proper subject 
of commerce by the universal sentiment of Europe. The transferring 
them from their deplorable savage state to the mastership of civilized 
men, was considered to be a benefit of the highest value to the ne- 
groes themselves. And had it been otherwise, the " good Queen 
Anne," who was certainly a religious and excellent woman, would 
never have been an actual partner in the trade of the English African 

The provisions of the treaty of Utrecht on this subject were kept 
in view by the subsequent treaties, in the reigns of George I. and 
George II., clearly proving that there was no change of English sen- 
timent down to 1749, when the monopoly of the English company 
having expired, the slave-trade was thrown open to every British 
subject who chose to embark in it. This was done by statute twen- 
ty-third George Second, chapter thirty-one. And the result produced 


so great an influx of negroes into the colonies, that the Legislature of 
South-Carolina passed an act prohibiting the further importation. 
But the British government disallowed this act, and reprimanded the 
governor for having assented to it. 

The American Revolution having been successfully accomplished, 
and peace proclaimed in 1783, we find the British Parliament passing 
another act, granting certain privileges of trade to the ports of the 
West-Indies. The fourth section of this, (statute twenty-seven, 
George Third, chapter twenty-seven, 1787,) authorizes the exporting 
of merchandise from the English islands to any foreign colony, and 
in this merchandise there is special mention of rum and negroes. 
This was thirteen years after the decision of Lord Mansfield in the 
case of Somerset, and only two years before the adoption of our pre- 
sent Constitution. 

In the year 1773, when that famous case was decided, there were 
no less than fourteen thousand negro slaves in London alone. And the 
opinion of Lord Mansfield was denied to be law by several great 
authorities, Lord Hardwicke and Lord Stowell being clearly opposed 
to it. We have seen the statement of Mr. Wilberforce, that all the 
lawyers were against him, and we know that it cost more than 
twenty years of struggle before the slave-trade was abolished, while 
it was not until 1833 that emancipation was granted to the British 
slaves in the West-Indies, through the pressure, as the historian 
Alison states, of the new popular feeling. 

The success of the Republican theory in the establishment of the 
United States was undoubtedly the first great step which Jed the 
minds of men in this direction. But that went no further than the 
abolition of the slave-trade, leaving the domestic institution alone, and 
even providing for its protection. The great blow against slavery 
was reserved for the French Revolution, which freed the negroes of 
St. Domingo, and led to the horrid massacre of the whites, and threw 
all Europe into alarm and consternation by the conflicts which arose 
in every quarter, between popular rights and the old systems of mon- 
archy. In all this the Church of Christ took no part, save by prayer 
and loyal sufferance. The atheism of France, which uprooted slavery, 
did not spare the altar. Liberty, equality, and fraternity became the 
new trinity which men adored, instead of the God of the Bible. And 
hanging, drowning, and the guillotine were the prompt punishment 
of those who refused to bow down and worship them. 


That the Church of England held slavery to be perfectly lawful in 
itself, as well as the Church of Rome and all the Christian denomina- 
tions of Europe and America, through the whole period of their his- 
tory, down to the end of the last century, and far into the present, is 
therefore as incontrovertible as any fact can be. The bishops of that 
Church saw no sin in the treaty of Utrecht, to which the religious 
Queen Anne was a party. They concurred in the Act of Parliament 
under George the Third, which regarded the negroes as lawful mer- 
chandise. The Puritans of New-England sold the Indians as slaves, 
and were the chief importers of the Africans for the Southern market. 
Even the Quakers of Pennsylvania had slaves, and "William Penn was 
a slaveholder, though that was the first State which passed an act of 
gradual abolition, and this estimable people have been among the 
most ardent and constant friends of the measure. Their principles, 
however, were in no substantial respect at variance with my own. 
They did not denounce slavery as a sin in itself, and the " sum of all 
villainies." They did not denounce the Constitution as " a covenant 
with death and an agreement with hell." They did not insist on im- 
mediate emancipation. And, above all, they sought to accomplish 
their object only by the use of kind persuasion and friendly argument, 
on the ground of a wise expediency, without bringing it into the region 
of party politics, without kindling hatred, discord, and strife between 
brethren, and with that love of " peace and good-will to men " which 
has so honorably marked their character. 



RIGHT REVEREND BROTHER : I now come to consider the treatment 
of the Southern slaves, which, in the popular mind, constitutes the 
main ground of the horror expressed by so many persons with regard 
to the institution. And here, I trust that I may claim as strong an 
antipathy to all cruelty and oppression, as becomes the character of a 
Christian minister. But this charge of cruelty concerns the religious 
consistency of thousands amongst my brethren : men who, though now 
unhappily separated from us by this deplorable war, are yet belong- 
ing to the same spiritual fraternity. Justice is due to those slave- 
holders, as well as to the slaves. I only ask that the evidence brought 
against them shall be tested fairly, by the same rules which apply to 
human conduct in general. And this can only be done by a com- 
parison of the evils which the slaves suffer from their masters, with 
those to which the laboring classes are liable in the state of freedom. 

The Journal of Mrs. Kemble, during her residence on the Georgia 
plantation of her husband, is one of the most popular books on the 
evils of negro slavery ; and deservedly so, not only from its literary 
merits, and the wide-spread reputation of the writer, but mainly 
because it deals in facts, with actual knowledge, on the spot, of the 
practical results of the institution. And yet, passing from its perusal 
to the recent work of Joseph Kay, Esq., on the social condition of the 
people of England, no intelligent and candid mind can avoid the con- 
viction that her picture of misery and degradation amongst the slaves 
falls far short of the delineations of brutalized licentiousness and de- 
basement amongst the lower class of English freemen. I shall make 
a copious selection of extracts from this sadly interesting book, to 
prove the assertion. 

"I speak it," saith Mr. Kay, "with sorrow and with shame, bu* 
with not the less confidence, that our peasantry are more ignorant, 
more demoralized, less capable of helping themselves, and more pau- 
perized, than those of any country in Europe, if we except Russia, 


Turkey, South Italy, and some parts of the Austrian Empire." (p. 24, 
Harper's New-York ed.) 

" The laborer has no longer any connection with the land he culti- 
vates ; he has no stake in the country ; he has nothing to lose, noth- 
ing to defend, and nothing to hope for," (p. 16.) "His position is 
one of hopeless and irremedial dependence. The work-house stands 
near him, pointing out his dismal fate if he falls one step lower." 
(p. 17.) " In the civilized world there are few sadder spectacles than 
the present contrast in Great Britain of unbounded wealth and luxury, 
with the starvation of thousands and tens of thousands, crowded into 
cellars and dens, without ventilation or light, compared with which 
the wigwam of the Indian is a palace. Misery, famine, brutal 
degradation, in the neighborhood of stately mansions which ring 
with gayety and dazzle with pomp and unbounded profusion, shock 
us as no other wretchedness does. It is a striking fact that the 
private charity of England, though almost incredible, makes little im- 
pression on this mass of misery." (p. 28.) 

The writer $ves the following statement on the amount of pauper- 
ism, which is truly astounding : 

" Before the enactment of the new poor-law," saith he, " we were 
expending annually between six and seven millions of pounds sterling 
for the relief of abject pauperism in England and Wales alone. Since 
then, we have been expending, in the same cause, between four and 
five millions per annum without reckoning the vast sums which 
have been sunk in the administration of the poor-law in the different 
Unions, or the immense sums which have been given away annually 
by charitable individuals and societies. All this, be it remembered, 
has been required to alleviate the miserable condition of our laboring 
population, and to keep crowds from actual starvation. Their inde- 
pendence is destroyed ; they can not live unless they depend upon 
the charity of the higher classes." (p. 29.) 

Our author proceeds to show, from a carefully prepared table, the 
comparative increase of crime in the agricultural districts. " The 
proportional amount of crime to population," saith he, "in 1841 and 
1847 was greater in almost all the agricultural counties of England 
than it was in the manufacturing and mining districts." This table 
" also shows how fearfully the amount of crime is increasing in the 
agricultural districts of Westmoreland, Lincoln, Cambridge, Hunting- 
don, Leicestershire, Rutland, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Wor- 


cestershire, and Devonshire." u Does not this show that the peas- 
ants of England must be subjected to a singularly demoralizing sys- 
tem, to produce so strange, so almost incredible a result?" (p. 44-5.) 

He next passes on to the " awfully wretched state of the children 
of London," and our author observes that " although this singular 
account refers to London alone, it does in reality give a very correct 
picture " of other cities. " In the towns of Lancashire," saith he, 
" and in all the larger of the manufacturing and provincial towns, 
the life and character of an equal proportion of the whole number of 
the children is precisely similar to that of the juvenile population of 
the back streets of London." (p. 45.) 

They may be seen everywhere ; " but in Lambeth and Westminster 
we find the most flagrant traces of their swarming activity. There 
the foul and dismal passages are thronged with children/ of both 
sexes, and of every age from three to thirteen. Though wan and hag- 
gard, they are singularly vivacious, and engaged in every sort of occu- 
pation but that which would be beneficial to themselves and credit- 
able to the neighborhood. Their appearance is wild ; the matted hair, 
the disgusting filth, that renders necessary a closer inspection, before 
the flesh can be discerned between the rags which hang about it, and 
the barbarian freedom from all superintendence and restraint, fill the 
mind of a novice in these things with perplexity and dismaj'-. Visit 
those regions in the summer, and you are overwhelmed with the ex- 
halations; visit them in the winter, and you are shocked by the 
spectacle of hundreds shivering in apparel that would be scanty in 
the tropics ; many are all but naked ; those that are clothed are gro- 
tesque ; the trowsers, when they have them, seldom pass the knee ; 
the tail-coats very frequently trail below the heels. In this guise 
they run about the streets, and line the banks of the river at low 
water, seeking coals, sticks, corks, for nothing comes amiss as 
treasure trove." (pp. 60-1.) 

" A large proportion of those who dwell in the capital, and all the 
larger towns of the British empire, are crammed into regions of filth 
and darkness, the ancient but not solitary reign of the newts and 

" Here are the receptacles of the species we investigate ; here they 
are spawned, and here they perish. Can their state be a matter of 
wonder? We have penetrated alleys terminating in a cul-de-sac, 
long and narrow, like a tobacco-pipe, where air and sunshine were 


never known. On one side rose walls several feet in height, blacken- 
ed with damp and slime ; on the other side stood the dwellings, still 
more revolting, while the breadth of the wet and bestrewed passage 
would by no means allow us the full expansion of our arms ! We 
have waited at the entrance of another, of similar character and di- 
mensions, but forbidden by the force and pungency of the odors to 
examine its recesses. The novelty of a visit from persons clad like 
gentlemen, gave the hope that we were official ; and several women, 
haggard, rough, and exasperated, surrounded us at once, imploring 
us to order the removal of the filth, which had poisoned their tene- 
ments, and to grant them a supply of water, from which they had 
been debarred for many days. Pass to another district, you may 
find it less confined ; but. there you will see, flowing before each hovel, 
and within a few feet of it, a broad, black, uncovered drain, exhaling 
at every point the most unwholesome vapors. If there be not a 
drain, there is a stagnant pool ; touch either with your stick, and the 
mephitic mass will yield up its poisonous gas like the coruscations 
of soda-water." 

u The children sit along these depositories of death, or roam through 
the retired courts, in which the abominations of years have been 
suffered to accumulate. Here reigns a melancholy silence, seldom 
broken but by an irritated scold, or a pugnacious drunkard. The 
pale, discolored faces of the inhabitants, their shriveled forms, their 
abandoned exterior, recall the living skeletons of thePontine marshes, 
and sufficiently attest the presence of a secret agency, hostile to every 
physical and moral improvement of the human race." 

" The interior of the dwelling is in strict keeping ; the smaller 
space of the apartments increasing, of course, the evils that prevail 
without damp, darkness, dirt, and foul aii*. Many are wholty des- 
titute of furniture ; many contain nothing except a table and a chair ; 
some few have a common bed for all ages and both sexes, but a large 
proportion of the denizens of these regions lie on a heap of rags more 
nasty than the floor itself. Happy is the family that can boast of a 
single room to itself, and in that room, of a dry corner." 

" The children that survive the noxious influences and awful ne- 
glect, are thrown, as soon as they can crawl, to scramble in the gut- 
ter, and leave their parents to amusement or business." .... 

" The ' duris ingens in rebus egestas ' stimulates these independent 
urchins ; and at an age when the children of the wealthy would still 


be in leading-strings, they are off, singly or in parties, to beg, borrow, 
steal, and exercise all the cunning that want and a love of evil can 
stir up in a reckless race." 

"This is a fair picture of the state of things in all our larger 
towns." (p. 61-3.) 

The author gives a sad account of what he rightly calls " a very 
singular and very melancholy proof of the degradation and pauperism 
of a great part of the laboring population. Large and ever-increas- 
ing hordes of vagrants or wandering beggars infest all the highways 
of England and Wales. These poor wretches are miserably clothed, 
filthily dirty, covered with vermin, and generally very much diseas- 
ed ; sometimes from debauchery, and sometimes though this would 
appear to be the exceptional case from the want of food. These 
vagrants consist, in some parts of the country, of nearly equal parts 
of Irish and English ; while, in other parts, two thirds of them are 
Irish, and the other third English. They are composed of persons 
of both sexes, and of all ages. Very few are married. The women, 
of whom there are great numbers, are nearly all prostitutes. Each 
man is generally attended by one or two such companions in misery 
and crime." 

" To nearly every work-house there are attached what are called 
vagrant-wards, or buildings which are specially set apart for the re- 
ception of tramps, such as those I have described. In some places, 
such is the filthy state of the poor wretches who are admitted at 
night, that it is necessary to have the framework of the beds white- 
washed every day. In many places it is found impossible to give 
them beds, because the tramps swarm so horribly with vermin. In 
those cases, a rug is allowed to each, and the rug is washed in the 

" Men are kept, in order to guard these foul receptacles every 
night, but it is needless to observe that nothing can prevent scenes 
which I may not attempt to describe." (p. 73-5.) " The conduct 
of the poor wretches is reported to be bad in the extreme. They 
are described as being noisy and turbulent ; as making the wards 
resound with the vilest songs and language ; as being ungrateful and 
refractory towards the ward-officers, and as having habits too filthy 
and indecent to be named." (p. V6.) 

" If I were only to state," saith our author, " that 16,000 of such 
poor wretches were wandering about our roads begging alms in 1848, 


I should give no idea of the magnitude of this plague. Hitherto, I 
have only spoken of those who seek shelter for the night in the 
work -house vagrant-wards. But besides these, there are vast num- 
bers who sleep every night in the vagrant lodging-houses in the 
towns. These lodging-houses, which are to be found in most of our 
towns, consist of long low rooms, filled with beds or mattresses, 
upon which the vagrants of all ages and of both sexes sleep, two or 
three in one bed or upon one mattress. These rooms are unventi- 
lated, seldom cleaned, filthy and close beyond comprehension to those 
who have not been into them. In these dens, the vagrants, pick- 
pockets, beggars, and, in fine, all the houseless wanderers of the 
streets, sleep, crowded together old men and young men, old women 
and young women, and children of all ages, from the infant at the 
breast, to the boy who is just ripening into the felon. The scenes 
which take place are horrible. In one bed sleeps a man with two 
women ; in another, a woman with two men ; in another, two or three 
women or men ; in another, a poor mother and her children. Drunk- 
ards, pickpockets, prostitutes, and beggars, covered with vermin, are 
packed in together. Foul songs, oaths, drunken yells, and groans 
mingle every night in one sad chorus, until sleep closes the eyes of 
all." (p. 79-80.) 

" One of the city missionaries, describing the state of the Mint 
district in London, says : ' It is utterly impossible to describe the 
scenes which are to be witnessed here, or to set forth, in its naked 
deformity, the awful characters sin here assumes. . . . In Mint 
street alone, there are nineteen lodging-houses, the majority of which 
are awful sinks of iniquity. Quarrels and fights are very common, 
and the cry of murder Is frequently heard. The public-houses in 
this street are crowded to excess, especially in the Sabbath evenings." 
(p. 80-81.) 

" If the nightly inmates of these dens are added to the tramps who 
seek lodging in the vagrant-wards of the work-houses, we shall find 
that there are at least between 40,000 and 50,000 tramps daily in- 
festing our roads and streets." (p. 81.) 

Now all this is revolting enough, but the next set of facts which 
this author sets forth is still more so. " Another sad symptom of 
the condition of the poor," saith he, " is the use they make of the 
* burial clubs.' In some of our towns the degradation of many of the 
poor is such, that parents often cause the death of their children in 


order to obtain the premiums from the societies. It appears that in 
our larger provincial towns the poor are in the habit of entering their 
children in what are called ' burial clubs.' A small sum is paid 
every year by the parent, and this entitles him to receive from three 
to five pounds from the club, on the death of the child. Many par- 
ents enter their children in several clubs. One man in Manchester 
has been known to enter his child in nineteen different clubs. On 
the death of such a child, the parent becomes entitled to a large sum 
of money, and as the burial of the child does not necessarily cost 
more than one pound and ten shillings, the parent realizes a consid- 
erable sum after all the expenses are paid." 

"It has been clearly ascertained that it is a common practice 
among the more degraded classes of poor in many of our towns, to 
enter their infants in these clubs, and then to cause their death, 
either by starvation, ill-usage, or poison ! What more horrible 
symptom of moral degradation can be conceived ? One's mind re- 
volts against it, and would fain reject it as a monstrous fiction. But 
alas ! it seems to be but too true." (p. 82.) 

This awful statement is proved by numerous cases, which occupy 
twelve pages of the book. And the author concludes by saying : 
" There can be no doubt that a great part of the poorer classes of this 
country are sunk into such a frightful depth of hopelessness, misery, 
and utter moral degradation, that even mothers forget their affection 
for their helpless little offspring, and kill them, as a butcher does his 
lambs, in order to make money by the murder, and therewith to 
lessen their pauperism and misery." (p. 94.) 

Mr. Kay passes on from this terrible statement to the "great num- 
bers and miserable condition of the inhabitants of the cellars." 

" In all our larger towns," saith he, " and especially in those in 
which manufactures are carried on, there are a great number of cel- 
lars beneath the houses of the small shopkeepers and operatives, 
which are inhabited by crowds of the poor. These rooms measure, 
in Liverpool, from ten to twelve feet square. In some towns they 
are rather larger. They are generally flagged. The flags lie directly 
upon the earth, and are generally wretchedly damp. In wet weather 
they are very often not dry for weeks together. Within a few feet 
from the windows rises the wall which keeps the street from falling 
in, darkening the gloomy rooms, and preventing the sun's rays from 
penetrating into them." 


" Dr. Duncan, in describing the cellar-houses of the manufacturing 
districts, says : * The cellars are ten or twelve feet square, generally 
flagged, but frequently having only the bare earth for a floor, and 
sometimes less than six feet in height. There is frequently no win- 
dow, so that light and air can gain access to the cellar only by the 
door, the top of which is often not higher than the level of the street. In 
such cellars, ventilation is out of the question. They are of course 
dark, and, from the defective drainage, they are very generally 
damp." (pp. 95-6.) 

" They have never more than two, and generally only one room 
each, but small as they are, they are crowded to excess. It is no 
uncommon thing for two and three, and sometimes for four families, 
to live and sleep together in one of these rooms, without any division 
or separation whatever for the different families or sexes. There are 
very few cellars where at least two families do not herd together in 
this manner. Their beds are made sometimes of a mattress, and 
sometimes of straw in the corners of the cellar, and upon the damp, 
cold, flag floor; and on these miserable sleeping-places, the father, 
mother, sons, and daughters crowd together in a state of filthy inde- 
cency, and much worse off than the horses in an ordinary stable. In 
these cellar-houses, no distinction of sex and age is made. Some- 
times a man is found sleeping with one woman, sometimes with two 
women, and sometimes with young girls; sometimes brothers and 
sisters of the age of eighteen, nineteen, and twenty, are found in bed 
together, while at other times the husband and wife share the bed 
with all their children." 

" The poor creatures who inhabit these miserable receptacles are of 
the most degraded species ; they have never learned to read ; have 
never heard of the existence of a Deity ; have never been inside a 
church, being scared from the door by their own filth and wretched- 
ness, and have scarcely any sense of a distinction between right and 

" I have heard gentlemen who have visited these kinds of dens in 
London say, that they have found men and women sleeping together, 
three and four in a single bed, that they have not disturbed or shamed 
them in the least by discovering them in these situations, but that, on 
the contrary, their remonstrances have leen answered only ~by a, laugh 
or ly a sneer." (p. 96-7.) 

"In the twelve wards forming the parish of Liverpool, there are 


6294 inhabited cellars, containing 20,168 inhabitants, exclusive of 
the inhabited cellars in courts, of which there are 621, containing 
probably 2000 inhabitants." And these numbers Dr. Duncan thinks 
are " under the mark." " The whole of the cellar population of the 
parish, upwards of 20,000, are absolutely without any place of de- 
posit for their refuse matter." (p. 97-8.) 

" But what," continues our author, " is the condition of the houses 
of the poor in our towns and villages? The further we examine, the 
more painful, disgusting, and incredible does the tale become !" 

" We see on every hand stately palaces, to which no country in the 
world offers any parallel. The houses of our rich are more gorgeous 
and more luxurious than those of any other land. Every clime is 
ransacked to adorn them. The soft carpets, the heavy rich curtains, 
the luxuriously easy couches, the beds of down, the services of plate, 
the numerous servants, the splendid equipages, and all the expensive 
objects of literature, science, and the arts, which crowd the palaces 
of England, form but items in an ensemble of refinement and mag- 
nificence which was never imagined or approached in all the splendor 
of the ancient empires. But look beneath all this display and lux- 
ury, and what do we see there ? A pauperized and suffering people." 

" To maintain show, we have degraded the masses, until we have 
created an evil so vast, that we now despair of ever finding a remedy. 
The Irish poor have drunk the dregs of the cup of misery, and are 
hardly kept from revolution by the strong, arm of the soldiers and 
police ; while the English poor are only saved from despair and its 
dread consequences, by the annual expenditure of MANY MILLIONS in 
relief, which our own neglect and misgovernment have rendered ne- 
cessary." (p. 99-100.) 

If this dreadful picture were confined to the condition of the poor 
in the cities and towns, it would be a very melancholy spectacle. 
But unhappily it extends to the country at large. For thus our 
author proceeds with his sad narration. 

"Miserable," saith he, "as the habitations of a great part of the 
poor of our towns are, the cottages and the cottage life of the peas- 
ants are still worse, and, what is more, they have been for some time 
past, and still are, rapidly deteriorating. The majority of the cot- 
tages are wretchedly built, often in very unhealthy sites ; they are 
miserably small, and are crowded to excess ; they are very low, sel- 
dom drained, and badly roofed ; and they scarcely ever have any eel- 


lar or space under the floor of the lower rooms. The floors are formed 
either of flags, which rest upon the cold, undrained ground, or, as is 
often the case, of nothing better than a mixture of clay and lime, 
which receives, day after day, and year after year, water and drop- 
pings of all kinds, and gives back pestilential vapors, injurious to the 
health of the inhabitants. Such cottages are fit abodes for a peas- 
antry pauperized and demoralized by the utter hopelessness of their 
situation." (p. 115-6.) 

" The accounts we receive from all parts of the country show that 
these miserable cottages are crowded to an extreme, and that the 
crowding is progressively increasing. People of both sexes, and of 
all ages, married and unmarried, parents, brothers, sisters, and strang- 
ers, sleep in the same rooms and often in the same beds. Women 
have been delivered in bed-rooms crowded with men, young women, 
and children, and facts are witnessed much too horrible to be alluded 
to. Nor are these solitary instances, but similar reports are given by 
gentlemen writing in ALL parts of the country." (p. 117-8.) 

" The landlords are unwilling to increase the number of the cottages 
in the rural districts, because they fear to increase the numbers of 
the resident laboring population, and the amount of their poor-rates ; 
nd they are generally unwilling, even when they are able, to spend 
money in improving the size or character of the cottages, because 
they know that they can easily let any of the existing cottages, no 
matter how wretched, owing to the great demand for house-room." 

*' The crowding of the cottages has, therefore, of late, been growing 
worse and worse. The promiscuous mingling of the sexes in the bed- 
rooms has been increasing very much, and is productive of worse con- 
sequences every year. Adultery is the very mildest form of the vast 
amount of crime which it is engendering. We are told by magis- 
trates, clergymen, surgeons, and union officers, that cases of incest, 
and reports of other cases of the same enormity, are becoming more 
and more common" (p. 119.) 

" Such is the hideous social system to which we have subjected our 
poor." (p. 123.) 

The apathy with which this matter is regarded by all the parties, 
is strongiy stated by our author. 

" One singular thing is," saith he, " that this state of things has 
existed so long, that the poor have sunk fielow complaining, and that 
the landlords and richer classes are quite surprised, if you talk to 


them of the miserable condition of the peasants' cottages. They have 
learned to think it a necessary state of things, and ridicule the idea 
of its being the result of a system of defective legislation. Many go 
much further and boldly maintain that it is better that the peasants 
should not be educated, as education would make them thoroughly 
discontented with their present position in life." (p. 126.) 

With respect to the diseases of the English peasantry, we have the 
following statement : 

" Fever, and scrofula in all its forms, prevail under such circum- 
stances." (p. 134.) And the nourishment is of the humblest quality. 
" Persons living in these cottages are generally very poor, very dirty, 
and usually in rags, living almost wholly on bread and potatoes, 
scarcely ever tasting animal food, and consequently highly suscepti- 
ble of disease, and very unable to contend with it" (p. 135.) 

"It is impossible," says a writer quoted by Mr. Kay, "fully to es- 
timate the wretchedness to which the inmates of the hovels, which 
meet the eye at all points, are exposed, without a close personal in- 
spection of them. "We are accustomed to associate with the idea of a 
country village, or with a cottage situated in a winding vale, or hang- 
ing upon the side of a rich and fertile slope, nothing but health, con- 
tentment, and happiness. A rural dwelling of this class, with its 
heavy thatch and embowering trees, makes such a nice pencil-sketch, 
that we are naturally inclined to think it as neat and comfortable as 
it appears. But to know it aright, it must be turned inside out, and 
its realities exposed to the gaze of the observer. How often does the 
cot which looks so attractive and romantic upon paper, conceal an 
amount of wretchedness, filth, squalor, disease, privation, and fre- 
quently of immorality, which, when exposed in their reality, are 
perfectly appalling ? It is high time that people divested themselves 
of the false impressions too generally entertained of the character of 
our rural cottages. They are chiefly drawn from descriptions which 
at one time may have suited the reality, when the condition of the 
agricultural laborer was much better than it is now ; for that it was 
much better than at present, is evident from the information derived 
from a variety of valuable sources. To go a considerable way back : 
we find Fortescue alluding to their condition in his day, as one of great 
comfort and happiness ; inasmuch as they lived chiefly upon butcher 
meat, of which they had plenty, and had abundance of good ale, with 
which to accompany it at their meals. In regard to their diet, at 


least, their condition now seems the very reverse of what it was then ; 
and as it is impossible that they could have fallen back so much in 
this important element of their physical condition, without having all 
the others deteriorated in the same proportion, it is fair to infer that 
their house accommodation was better formerly than now. It was 
better in this, if in no other respect that fewer people were to be 
found under one and the same roof, a state of things much more fav- 
orable to health, cleanliness, and good morals, than that which now 
prevails. We must therefore judge of the laborer's condition, not 
from past descriptions of it, but from the sad realities of the present 
hour." (142-4.) 

Describing one of the parish houses on the borders of Devonshire 
and Cornwall, our author saith, that "In each room there lived a 
family, night and day, the space being about twelve feet square. In 
one were a man and his wife and eight children ; the father, mother, 
and two children lay in one bed, the remaining six were huddled 
' head and foot,' (three at the top and three at the foot,) in the other 
bed. The eldest girl was between fifteen and sixteen, the eldest boy 
between fourteen and fifteen ! Is it not horrible to think of men and 
women being brought up in thisjfowZ, brutish manner in civilized and 
Christian England ? The lowest of savages are not worse cared for 
than these children of a luxurious and refined country" (p. 151.) 

" It is, perhaps, worthy of remark, that dishes, plates, and other 
articles of crockery seem almost unknown. There is, however, the 
less need for them, as grist bread forms the principal and, I believe, 
the only kind of food that falls to the laborer's lot. In no single 
instance did I observe meat of any kind during rny progress. The 
furniture is such as may be expected a rickety table and two or 
three foundered chairs generally forming the extent." (p. 153.) 

" This misery," says another country rector, " is not confined to 
Dorsetshire. If you go to Devonshire, Wiltshire, and the hill coun- 
try of Gloucestershire, you will find the peasant at the point of starva- 
tion." (p. 154.) 

" We need not wonder," continues our author, " if we find that 
the amount- of crime in counties, where the peasants are in such a 
horrible social condition, is alarmingly and terribly increasing. The 
Times of the 30th of November, 1849, shows this terrible increase of 
crime in the last few years in Dorsetshire. * We yesterday pub- 
lished,' saith the editor, * in a very short compass, some grave par- 


ticulars of the unfortunate county of Dorset. It is not simply the 
old story of wages inadequate for life, hovels unfit for habitation, and 
misery and sin alternately claiming our pity and our disgust. This 
state of things is so normal, and we really believe so immemorial, in 
that notorious county, that we should rather deaden than excite the 
anxiety of the public by a thrice-told tale. What compels our at- 
tention just now is a sudden, rapid, and, we fear, a forced aggrava- 
tion of these evils, measured by the infallible test of crime. Dorset- 
shire is fast sinking into a slough of wretchedness, which threatens 
the peace and morality of the kingdom at large. The total number 
of convictions which, in 1846, was seven hundred and ninety-eight, 
in 1847, eight hundred and twenty-one, in 1848, nine hundred and 
fifty, mounted up in 1849 to the astonishing number of one thousand 
three hundred for the whole year! Unless something is done to 
stop this flood of crime, or the tide happily turns of itself, the 
county will have more than doubled its convictions within four 
years ! " (p. 156-7.) 

Again, speaking of the hovels of the peasants, the author saith : 
" During the present century, we have been building dwellings for 
the poor, as if we were running up sties for pigs" (p. 162.) 

" The food of the laborer and his family in Norfolk and Suffolk is 
principally bread, potatoes, and the Norfolk dumpling, which consists 
of the dough of which the bread is made. In none of the cottages 
that I have visited in either of the three counties have I ever seen 
such a thing as a piece of fresh butcher's meat." (p. 164.) 

" One species of immorality, which is peculiarly prevalent in these 
counties, is that of bastardy being fifty -three per cent above the 
average of England or Wales. There appears to be a perfect want of 
decency among the people. * The immorality of the young women,' 
said the rector of the parish to me, * is literally horrible, and I regret 
to say it is on the increase in a most extraordinary degree. When I 
first came to the town, the mother of a bastard child used to be 
ashamed to show herself. The case is now quite altered ; no person 
seems to think any thing at all of it. When I first came to the town, 
there was no such thing as a common prostitute in it ; now, there is 
an enormous number of them. When I am called on to see a woman 
confined with an illegitimate child, I endeavor to impress upon her 
the enormity of the offense ; and there are no cases in which I receive 
more insult from those I visit than from such persons. They gener- 


ally say : * They'll get on as well, after all that's said about it, and if 
they never do any thing worse than that, they shall get to heaven as 
well as other people.' There appears to be, among the lower orders, 
a perfect deadness of all moral feeling upon this subject." (p. 169.) 

With respect to the mining and manufacturing populations in 
Wales, the evidence is nothing better. Thus the Rev. John Griffith 
saith : " Nothing can be lower, I would say more degrading, than the 
character in which the women stand relative to the men. The men 
and women, married as well as single, sleep in the same room. Pro- 
miscuous intercourse is most common, is thought of as nothing, and 
the women do not lose caste by it." (p. 183.) 

Again, saith Edward W. Seymour, Esq., speaking of the mining dis- 
tricts : " The vices of lying, thieving, swearing, and drunkenness, and 
the vastly increasing crime of illicit intercourse between the sexes, pre- 
vail to a great extent, and these are by no means confined to the 
uneducated." (p. 189.) 

The Rev. James Denning, Brecknock, saith that " the poor seem 
ignorant on most subjects, except how to cheat and speak evil of each 
other. They appear not to have an idea what the comforts of life are. 
There are at least two thousand persons living in this town in a state 
of the greatest filth, and to all appearance they enjoy their filth and 
idleness, for they make no effort to get rid of it. From my experi 
ence of Ireland, I think there is a great similarity between the lower 
orders of Welsh and Irish both are dirty, indolent, bigoted, and 
contented." " The number of illegitimate children, when compared 
with England, is astounding." (p. 190.) 

" Morals are generally at a low ebb, but want of chastity is the 
giant sin of Wales." 

But others say that " the lower classes of Wales are far superior 
to the same class in other parts of the kingdom." (p. 192.) 

Speaking of the mining population of Monmouthshire, Mr. Sy- 
mons says : " Evil in every shape is rampant in this district, demoral- 
ization is everywhere dominant, and all good influences are compara- 
tively powerless. They drink to the most brutal excess. They have 
little regard to modesty or the truth, and even the young children in 
the streets, who can scarcely articulate, give utterance to impreca- 
tions. The bodies and habits of the people are almost as dirty as 
the towns and houses of the swarthy region in which they swarm. 
The whole district, with the exception of Newport, teems with crime, 


and all the slatternly accompaniments of animal power and moral 
disorder, with scarcely a ray of mental or spiritual intelligence. 
The people are savage in their manner, and mimic the repulsive rude- 
ness of those in authority over them." (p. 199.) 

" The Rev. St. George Armstrong Williams testifies that the moral 
principles of the Welsh people are totally corrupt and abandoned in 
this respect. While the sexes continue to herd like beasts, it were 
idle to expect that they can l>e restrained by religion or conscience. 
I assert with confidence as an undeniable fact, that fornication is not 
regarded as a vice, scarcely as a frailty, by the common people in 
Wales. It is avowed, defended, and laughed at, without scruple, or 
shame, or concealment, by loth sexes alike." (p. 211.) 

On the state of education, the assertions of our author are what 
might be expected from the foregoing. Thus he saith, that " about 
one half of our poor can neither read nor write, have never been in 
any school, and know little, or positively nothing, of the doctrines of 
the Christian religion, of moral duties, or of any higher pleasure than 
beer or spirit-drinking and the grossest sensual indulgence. They 
live precisely like brutes, to gratify, as far as their means allow, the 
appetites of their uncultivated bodies, and then die, to go they have 
never thought, cared, or wondered, whither. Brought up in the 
darkness of barbarism, they have no idea that it is possible for them 
to attain any higher condition ; they are not even sentient enough to 
desire, with any strength of feeling, to change their situation ; they 
are not intelligent enough to be perseveringly discontented ; they are 
not sensible to what we call the voice of conscience ; they do not un- 
derstand the necessity of avoiding crime, beyond the mere fear of the 
police and a jail ; they do not in the least comprehend that what is 
the interest of society is their own also ; they do'not in the least un- 
derstand the meaning, necessity, or effect of the laws they eat, drink, 
breed, work, and die ; and while they pass through their brute-like 
existence here, the richer and more intelligent classes are obliged to 
guard them with police and standing armies, and to cover the land 
with prisons, cages, and all kinds of receptacles for those who, in 
their thoughtlessness or misery, disturb the quiet and happiness of 
their more intelligent and consequently more moral and prosperous 
neighbors, by plunder, assault, or any other deed which the law is 
obliged, for the sake of the existence of society, to designate a crime, 


although most of those who commit it do not in the least comprehend 
its criminality." (pp. 2, 16, IV.) 

" Let it not be said that this picture is too strongly drawn. The 
subject is one which does not admit of exaggeration." (p. 219.) 

" It has been calculated that there are at the present day, in Eng- 
land and Wales, nearly eight millions of persons who can not read 
and write" 

" Of all the children in England and "Wales, between the ages of 
five and fourteen, more than the half are not attending any school." 

" Even of the class of the farmers, there are great numbers who 
can not read and write." 

" Of the teachers who are officiating in many of the village schools, 
there are many who can not read and write correctly, and who know 
very little of the Bible which they profess to explain." 

" A very great part of our present village and town schools are 
managed by poor and miserably instructed dames, who thus seek to 
gain a livelihood, and who literally do no good to the children, except 
it be by keeping them for a certain number of hours in the day, out 
of the dirt, and out of worse society." (p. 252-3.) 

" In most of our schools, it is necessary, in order to provide sala- 
ries for the teacher, and funds for the support of the school, to charge 
from twopence to fourpence a week per head, for the instruction of 
scholars. This absolutely excludes the children of all paupers and 
of all poor persons, who can not afford to pay so much out of their 
small earnings." (p. 255.) 

I conclude these multiplied extracts with a few strong words of se- 
rious warning, on the inevitable results of the awful condition of the 
masses in Great Britain. 

"We stand," saith Mr. Kay, "on dangerous ground. We know 
not now how far the mine has been excavated. We know not how- 
strong the enemy is ; but certain it is that a spirit omnipotent for evil, 
a spirit of revolution, irreverence, irreligion, and recklessness, and, 
more dangerous than all, a spirit of unchecked, unguided, and licen- 
tious intelligence, is abroad, which will be the most dangerous enemy 
with which Christianity has hitherto had to cope. If religious teach- 
ers are not found, and that soon, for this people, where will the 
Church be fifty years hence ? Where the French Church was in 1796 
overthrown by an infidel multitude. Can any one look on, for the 
next half century, without dismay ?" (p. 294.) 


" I repeat that the great majority of the people In the great towns 
of this kingdom have no religion." (p. 298.) 

" Here, with our vast accumulated masses ; with a population in- 
creasing by 1000 per diem ; with an expenditure on abject pauperism 
which amounts to 5,000,000 per annum; with a terrible deficiency 
in the numbers of our churches and of our clergy ; with the most 
demoralizing publications spread through the cottages of our opera- 
tives ; with democratic ideas of the wildest kind, and a knowledge of 
the power of union daily gaining ground among them ; here, too, 
where the poor have no stake whatever in the country, where the 
most frightful discrepancy exists between the richer and the poorer 
classes ; where the poor fancy they have nothing to lose and every 
thing to gain from a revolution ; where the majority of the opera- 
tives have no religion ; where our very freedom is a danger, unless 
the people are taught to use and not abuse it, and here, too, where 
the aristocracy is richer and more powerful than that of any other 
country in the world the poor are more depressed, more pauperized, 
more irreligious, and very much worse educated than the poor of any 
other European nation, solely excepting jRussia, Turkey, /South Italy, 
Portugal, and Spain. Such a state of things can not long continue 1" 
(p. 322-3.) 



RIGHT REVEREND BROTHER : The book of Mr. Kay, from which 1 
have made so many extracts, is a perfect demonstration that millions 
of people, descended from the superior races of mankind, are in a 
worse condition, by far, in free England, than the negro slaves of the 
South, in their social habits, in their sense of morality and religion, 
and in every other element of human comfort. 

But the Southern slaves are subject to the lash of the overseer, if 
they are insubordinate ! Suppose they are, no man doubts that some 
kind of discipline is necessary for those who are idle and refractory ; 
and the only question is whether the summary punishment of twelve 
stripes* is more cruel than the substitute of imprisonment, which 
modern philanthropy prefers, on the ground of its greater humanity. 
I confess that I am more than doubtful of the assumption that the 
wisdom of our age has made any improvement on the practice of 
former times in this matter. The Mosaic law, which was divine, or- 
dered forty stripes even for the free Israelite ; and children were to be 
corrected by the rod, as a necessary element in their moral and re- 
ligious training. I shall quote the words of Scripture, however, not 
for your information, of course, but for my other readers ; as a famili- 
arity with the language of the Bible on these subjects is by no means 
common, at this day. Thus then we read in Deut. 25 : 1-3 : 

" If there be a controversy between men, and they come unto judg- 
ment, that the judges may judge them, then they shall justify the 
righteous, and condemn the wicked. And if the wicked man be 
worthy to be beaten, the judge shall cause him to lie down, and to be 
beaten before his face, according to his fault, by a certain number. 
Forty stripes he may give him and not exceed, lest if he should ex- 
ceed, and beat him with many stripes, then thy brother should seem 
vile unto thee." 

* This is all, according to Mrs. Kemble, which are allowed to be given in the field. In 
bad cases, the head overseer may extend the punishment to fifty, which is rarely exceeded. 


The same kind of discipline is recognized in the book of Proverbs. 
Thus, ch. 10, v. 13 : "A rod is for the back of him that is void of un- 
derstanding." Again, ch. 26, v. 3 : "A whip for the horse, a bridle 
for the ass, and a rod for the fool's back." 

And we find it most expressly laid down in the education of child- 
ren, Prov. 13 : 24: "He that spareth the rod, hateth his son; but he 
that loveth him, chasteneth him betimes." Again, ch. 22, v. 15 : 
" Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child, but the rod of correc- 
tion shall drive it far from him." Again, ch. 23, v. 13-4, "Withhold 
not correction from the child, for if thou beatest him with the rod, 
he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver 
his soul from hell." 

Here there is no restriction laid upon the parent with respect to 
the number of stripes, because the affection of the father was a suffi- 
cient guard against excess. And in the case of the slave, there was 
no restriction, since the interest of the master was enough, as a gen- 
eral rule, to prevent undue severity, which could only deprive him of 
the labor of the servant, and thus prove to be a loss to himself, 
independent of the feelings of humanity. 

But the strongest evidence in favor of bodily correction is that 
which our blessed Saviour gave in person. For thus we read, (John 
2 : 13-5:) "And the Jews' Passover was at hand, and Jesus went up 
to Jerusalem, and found in the temple those that sold oxen, and 
sheep, and doves, and the changers of money sitting ; and when he 
had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the 
temple," etc. 

I have briefly referred to these passages in the Bible View of 
Slavery, but I set them forth here in full, because there is nothing 
which I regard with more regret than the disposition, so manifest in 
our day; to regard such precepts as only fit for a barbarous age, and 
totally inconsistent with the mild precepts of the Gospel. It is a 
slander on the character of God to charge His laws with any thing 
like cruelty, or unnecessary harshness. On the contrary, I maintain 
that His system, as laid down for His chosen people, paid more re- 
gard to love, and tenderness, and consideration for the poor, than any 
code of laws which has ever existed, or now exists, in the boasted re- 
finement and philanthropy of the nineteenth century. And I shall 
proceed to prove this statement by positive testimony from the same 


book of Deuteronomy, which commands the use of the acourge, even 
to the free Israelite. Thus, then, we read : 

" Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with 
all thy soul, and with all thy might." (Deut. 6 : 5.) 

" The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because 
ye were more in number than any people, for ye were the fewest of 
all people ; but because the Lord loved you, and because he would 
keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers." (Deut. 
7 : 7-8.) 

"He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, 
and loveth the stranger in giving him food and raiment. Love ye 
therefore the stranger, for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt." 
(Deut. 10 : 18-9.) 

" At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a release. Every 
creditor that lendeth aught unto his neighbor shall release it; he shall 
not exact it of his neighbor, or of his brother ; because it is called the 
Lord's release. 'Of a foreigner thou mayest exact it again : but that 
which is thine with thy brother thine hand shall release." (Deut 
15 : 1-3.) 

" If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within 
any of thy gates in thy land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, 
thou shalt not harden thy heart, nor shut thy hand from thy poor 
brother, but thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt 
surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth." 

" Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying : 
The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand, and thine eye be 
evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought ; and he 
cry unto the Lord against thee, and it be sin unto thee. Thou shalt 
surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest 
unto him ; because that for this thing the Lord thy God shall bless 
thee in all thy works, and in all thou puttest thine hand unto. For 
the poor shall never cease out of the land : therefore I command thee, 
saying, thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy 
poor, and to thy needy, in thy land." (Deut. 15 : 7-11.) 

" Thou shalt observe the feast of tabernacles seven days, after that 
thou hast gathered in thy corn and thy wine. And thou shalt rejoice 
in thy feast, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy man-serv- 
ant, and thy maidservant, (thy londman and thy bondmaid in the 


Hebrew,) and the Levite, the stranger, and the fatherless, and the 
widow, that are within thy gates." (Deut. 10 : 13-4.) 

These passages clearly prove that the great law of love to God and 
love to man was the fundamental principle in this divine system. 
The release of all debts every seventh year, the benevolence and lib- 
eral charity to the poor, and the special regard paid to the stranger, 
the orphan, and the widow, stand preeminent above the legislation of 
the whole Christian world, and claim our highest reverence and 

But now I pass to the divine rule in time of war, which is marked 
with such peculiar regard for human feelings, viz. : 

" When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies, and seest 
horses, and chariots, and a people more than thou, be not afraid <jf 
them, for the Lord thy God is with thee, which brought thee up out 
of the land of Egypt And it shall be, when ye are come nigh unto 
the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak unto the people, 
and shall say unto them : Hear, Israel, ye approach this day unto 
battle against your enemies ; let not your hearts faint ; fear not, and 
do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them ; for the Lord 
your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your 
enemies, to save you." 

" And the officers shall speak unto the people, saying : What man 
is there that hath built a new house and hath not dedicated it ? Let 
him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle, and another 
man dedicate it. And what man is he that hath planted a vineyard, 
and hath not yet eaten of it ? Let him also go unto his house, lest 
he die in the battle, and another man eat of it. And what man is 
there that hath betrothed a wife, and hath not taken her ? Let him 
go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another 
man take her." 

" And the officers shall speak further unto the people, and they 
shall say : What man is there that is fearful and faint-hearted ? Let 
him go and return to his house, lest his brethren's heart fail as well 
as his heart." (Deut. 20 : 1-9.) 

Here we see a contrast between the laws of God and the laws of 
men, which is a wonderfully impressive proof of the tenderness to 
natural human feeling, manifest throughout this divine system. 
There is no dragging of the unwilling soldier from his house, his vine- 
yard, or his betrothed bride, against his will. Even the shrinking of 


the coward is respected, instead of shooting him for a defect which is 
rooted in his physical temperament, and beyond his control. In- 
deed it is remarkable, that in the whole Bible there is no praise be- 
stowed on mere physical courage, for this belongs only to the animal 
part of human nature. We see it in the brutes, and even in the in- 
sects. The hornet and the enraged bee will follow a man for a mile, 
and attack him with fury. But what human being would venture to 
assault a creature as much superior to himself in size and strength, 
as the man is superior to the insect ? So we see it in the dog, that 
some of the species are endowed by nature with the most obstinate 
courage, as the mastiff and the bull-dog ; while others, like the spaniel, 
could never be made to fight, by any training. So with the birds. 
Some are made for violent assaults, as the eagle and the hawk, but 
who would expect the dove to manifest the same ferocity ? All these 
varieties of natural temperament may be found in man, who is the 
head and complement of the creation in our lower world. And hence, 
the courage which belongs merely to our physical constitution is no 
just subject of praise from the Almighty. It is the animal nature, 
and nothing more. The moral courage of the soul is quite another 
thing, because it is the result of spiritual principle. This, therefore, 
and this only, is properly a virtue. Such was the courage of David 
when he offered himself to the combat against Goliath, in faithful re- 
liance on the God of Israel. Such was the courage of the noble 
three, who were ready for the fiery furnace, rather than bow down 
before the idol of the Babylonian king. Such was the courage of the 
blessed Apostles, who endured scourging, imprisonment, and death, 
in the service of their divine Master. Such was the courage of the 
martyrs in all ages. And such is the courage which alone may claim 
the admiration of the Christian, and the approval of the divine 
Redeemer, in the judgment of the great day. 

But this code of laws contains several other commandments, bear- 
ing on the same subject of a kind and affectionate spirit, which dis- 
tinguish it above all other systems as the work of the God of love. 
For thus we read in the twenty-second chapter : 

" Thou shalt not see thy brother's ox or his sheep go astray, and 
hide thyself from them ; thou shalt in any case bring them again 
unto thy brother. And if thy brother be not nigh unto thee, or if 
thou know him not, then thou shalt bring it unto thine own house, 
and it shall be with thee until thy brother seek after it, and thou 


shalt restore it to him again." "And with all lost things of thy 
brother's, which he hath lost and thou hast found, shalt thou do like- 
wise ; thou mayest not hide thyself." 

" Thou shalt not see thy brother's ass or his ox fall down by the 
way, and hide thyself from them ; thou shalt surely help him to lift 
them up again." 

" If a bird's-nest chance to be before thee in the way, in any tree, 
or on the ground, whether they be young ones or eggs, and the dam 
sitting upon the young or upon the eggs, thou shalt not take the dam 
with the young ; but thou shalt in any wise let the dam go, and take 
the young to thee, that it may be well with thee, and that thou may 
est prolong thy days." 

" When thou buildest a new house, then thou shalt make a battle- 
ment for thy roo that thou bring not blood upon thine house, if any 
man fall from thence." (Deut. 22 : 1-8.) 

"When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, 
neither shall he be charged with any business ; but he shall be free 
at home one year, and shall cheer up the wife which he hath 

" No man shall take the nether or the upper mill-stone to pledge ; 
for he taketh a man's life to pledge." 

" When thou dost lend thy brother any thing, thou shalt not go 
into his house to fetch his pledge: thou shalt stand abroad, and 
the man to whom thou dost lend shall bring out the pledge abroad 
unto thee." 

" And if the man be poor, thou shalt not sleep with his pledge : In 
any case thou shalt deliver him the pledge again when the sun goeth 
down, that he may sleep in his own raiment, and bless thee ; and it 
shall be righteousness unto thee before the Lord thy God." 

" Thou shalt not oppress an hired servant that is poor and needy, 
whether he be of thy brethren, or of thy strangers that are in the 
land within thy gates. At his day thou shalt give him his hire, 
neither shall the sun go down upon it, for he is poor and setteth his 
heart upon it : lest he cry unto the Lord, and it be sin unto thee." 

" When thou cuttest down thine harvest in thy field, and hast for- 
gotten a sheaf in the field, thou shalt not go again to fetch it ; it shall 
be for the stranger, the fatherless and the widow : that the Lord thy 
God may bless thee in all the work of thine hands." 

" When thou beatest thine olive-tree, thou shalt not go over the 


boughs again : it shall be for the stranger, tl le fatherless, and the 

" When thou gatherest the grapes of thy vineyard, thou shalt not 
glean it afterwards ; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and 
the widow." 

" And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land 
of Egypt; therefore I command thee to do this thing." (Deut. 
24 : 5-6, 10-5, 19-22.) 

Now we may search in vain through the whole legislation of the world 
for any thing to be compared with these laws of the God of Israel, so 
full of tender compassion for the poor, of brotherly kindness in the 
acts of social interest, and even of pitiful consideration towards the 
birds and beasts ; the least performance of mercy being regarded by 
Him, without whom the sparrow can not fall to the ground, and Hk 
favor being only assured to those who cherish, in their daily life, the 
spirit of benevolent affection. 

When, therefore, we find that the same God of love directs offend- 
ers to be chastised with the scourge, and even orders the rod to be 
used in the education of children, we can not, without absolute im- 
piety, suppose that these punishments are cruel, or liable to be 
charged with inhumanity. On the contrary, we are bound to believe 
that they were dictated by the unerring wisdom of Him who thor- 
oughly understands the requirements of human nature, and who com- 
manded them precisely because he knew that they were best adapted 
to secure the proper objects of all punishment, namely, the reforma- 
tion of the offender, and the warning of others against the offense. 
To show how this should be understood by every Christian believer, 
will be my labor in the next chapter. 



RIGHT REVEREND BROTHER : In the divine system laid down for 
the chosen people, we read nothing of imprisonment for debt, or for 
crime, or for any offense against established authority. The debtor 
might be sold for six years, in order to pay the creditor by his labor, 
and if this did not suffice, the remainder of the debt was canceled, 
and the creditor was obliged to let him go free. The thief was com- 
pelled to make restitution fourfol'd, and if this was not in his power, 
he likewise was sold into bondage. The murderer, adulterer, rav- 
isher, etc., were to be stoned by the whole multitude, the witnesses 
beginning the work of punishment. The man-slayer who was not 
guilty of murder, because the death was unintentional, was forced to 
betake himself to a city of refuge, and remain there until the decease 
of the High Priest. The transgressor in small matters was ordered 
to be chastised with the scourge, according to the discretion of the 
judges. And in cases of injury by maiming, the culprit suffered the 
loss of the same member of which he had deprived his neighbor, "an 
eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth," etc. But we read of no jails, no 
penitentiaries, no imprisonments for years or for life, no shutting up 
of men from the free light and air of heaven, and from social inter- 
course with their families and the community around them. 

Now the special question to be considered is this, viz., whether the 
infliction of the scourge or the lash was, or was not, more safe, more 
merciful, and more effectual, than the modern substitute of imprison- 
ment, which so many philanthropic minds imagine to be a vast im- 
provement upon the divine system. 

I am perfectly aware that in justifying the law of God in this 
matter, I run counter to the prevailing habits and notions of our 
country. In the last century it was otherwise. The punishment of 
scourging was then the established course for all the lighter misde- 
meanors. Flogging was the chastisement of the soldier in the army, 
of the sailor in the navy, of the pupil in the school, of the child in 


the family. But so rapidly have the ideas of society advanced about 
what they are pleased to call the dignity of human nature, that this 
sort of discipline has become discreditable and even odious. In the 
administration of justice the old common-law maxim, Qui non habet 
in crumena, luat in corpore i.e., "He that has no money in his 
purse, must pay in his body," has entirely disappeared. Flogging 
in the army and the navy is abolished by the Legislature. Schools 
are managed as they may be, without the rod, and the dignity of 
human nature must not be violated by giving twelve stripes even to 
the Southern slave, although the law of God directed forty to be 
administered to the Jewish freeman ! 

It is no part of my present purpose to set forth the results already 
apparent from this rapid change in public sentiment, though I think 
it would be easy to show that it has produced a serious deterioration 
in the old reverence for law and order, without which freedom must 
degenerate into anarchy, and prosperity into corruption. But I con- 
fine myself to my proper object by considering it in its relation to 
the authority of the Word of God. In the progress of these new 
ideas, Christianity has been made to bow down to the popular opinion, 
until the Bible has almost ceased to be the standard of truth. Men 
have discovered that the ancient Jews were a barbarous race, and 
therefore the law laid down to them by the wisdom of the Almighty 
is regarded as a "barbarous code, no longer entitled to religious vener- 
ation. The tone and spirit of a godless literature have infected even 
the professed ministers of the sanctuary ; and too many are found 
doing the work of Bishop Colenso in another way, by denying the 
meaning and the application of the Old Testament, because " the 
people love to have it so." 

I thank God, however, that the Church has not yet been forced 
to change her system. The Old Testament is still read along with 
the New, according to her Calendar. The Psalms of David still hold 
their place, as her chief songs of praise. And there are still left, I 
trust, a goodly number amongst her bishops, her clergy, and her 
laymen, willing and able to resist the encroachments of modern in- 
fidelity, and maintain the preeminence of the whole Bible, as the 
Word of inspiration. 

But I return from this digression to the specific point which I have 
undertaken to discuss, namely, whether the punishment of the 
scourge, ordered by the authority of the divine and Omnipotent 


Lawgiver, is not more safe, more merciful, and more effectual, than 
the modern substitute of imprisonment. That it is so, I should be 
willing to assume, because it was the system appoir. ted by the Al- 
mighty for His chosen people. But I think it may be proved to any 
reflecting and candid mind, for the following reasons : 

First, then, it is more safe for the offender, both in mind and in 
body. In mind, because it is universally conceded that a residence 
for some time in a jail or a work-house rarely fails to make the pri- 
soner, morally and socially, a far worse man when he leaves, than 
he was when he entered it His companionship, during the time of 
his confinement, is with men, many of whom are deeply depraved, 
and familiar with iniquity. He finds no one trying to cure him of 
his errors, while the leading spirits are disposed to make light of his 
fault, to teach him to curse the law, and to sink him to their own 
level. Thus the prison becomes a school of vice, and the punishment 
of a light offense prepares him for a much more perilous course of 
future criminality. 

But imprisonment is also less safe for the body, because the change 
of his habits, from daily exercise in the open air, to the unwholesome 
atmosphere of the jail, with its wretched fare, and its contaminating 
associations, must soon reduce his strength, and lay the foundation, 
at least, for disease and suffering, perhaps to the total ruin of his 

In the second place, the punishment of the scourge is more mer- 
ciful than imprisonment, because, though sharper at the time, it is 
soon over. The culprit is not cut off from the kind sympathy of his 
humble home, his accustomed friends, and his affectionate family. 
He suffers nothing from the unfeeling jests and often insulting taunts 
of such companions as he would have found in the jail. The conduct 
of those around him is adapted to soothe and comfort him. And he 
returns to his labor without any loss of health or moral principle. 

In the third place, I consider the punishment of the scourge to be 
much more effectual than imprisonment, both as it respects t'he 
offender himself, and the community to which he belongs. For the 
temper of insubordination or rebellion which calls for chastisement 
is very apt to be rather inflamed than put down by confinement. The 
culprit broods over the hardship of his case, with sullen wrath ; and 
regards the law which shuts him up with the feeling of indignation. 
Whereas the summary infliction of the lash humbles his pride and 


subdues his temper, and thus reforms him by the strong hand, which 
is the most convincing argument with ordinary human nature. This, 
therefore, effects, much more surely than the prison, the first object 
of punishment, which is the correction and amendment of the offend- 
er. And the second object, namely, the warning given to others, in 
order to save them from transgression, is evidently better accom- 
plished ; because the lesson is given publicly, and operates on all who 
witness the infliction. If he were imprisoned, on the contrary, he 
would be taken out of sight ; and what he suffered, or whether he 
suffered at all, would excite comparatively but little interest in others. 
On the whole, therefore, I can see no reason whatever for doubting 
the superior effects of the punishment prescribed by the law of God, 
and universally retained by all Christendom for eighteen centuries 
together. And thus far, the practice of the Southern slaveholder, in 
the usual mode of keeping his servants in subordination, seems 
abundantly sanctioned by the highest authority. For it is certain 
that the Bible, the Church, and the State, everywhere, concurred 
upon the subject, until the present era of sensitive transcendentalism 
raised against it the reproach of cruel barbarity, and in so doing, set 
itself in opposition to every previous rule of discipline, whether 
human or divine. 

That it is liable to abuse, is no argument against its reasonable 
and just application. For so is every other kind of discipline, and 
none more so than the favorite plan of imprisonment. But it has 
this advantage on its side, namely, that it is public in its administra- 
tion ; and this very publicity is one of the surest guards against ex- 
cessive severity. Whereas the abuses of imprisonment are private 
of necessity, and the sufferers are exposed to all the impositions, 
exactions, and caprices of their keepers, with the least probable chance 
of exposure. No class of men in the community are more liable to 
be led into every practice of petty tyranny than the officers of prisons, 
from the very nature of their employment. And no offense against 
humanity is more difficult to prove than the maltreatment to which 
the prisoners must needs be subject, if those who are virtually 
their masters should be lacking in conscience or in moral prin- 

But this privacy protects them from reproach, because the wise 
philanthropists of our day see and hear nothing of any abuse, and 
therefore take it for granted that their favorite system is open to no 


suspicion. The Southern masters, on the contrary, are sheltered 
by no secrecy. All the punishments which they inflict, and a vast 
deal which they do not inflict, are sure to be wafted on the wings of 
the wind, to every quarter of the land, and across the ocean, and 
dressed up in eloquent oratory, in pathetic poetry, and in exciting 
novels, to stir the generous pulse of public sympathy and indignation. 
We have seen that by the Jewish law, the Roman law, the English 
law, and, in fine, by the law of every other people, the testimony of 
slaves could not be received on any trial. But to make amends for 
this, the mere statements of every slave, without any oath at all, are 
received by all our modern philanthropists in the most absolute con- 
fidence, while the contrary statements of freemen, bishops, clergy, 
and laity, are set at nought, as perfectly unworthy of regard. And 
this is what our ultra-abolitionists call justice ! 

It was thus with Mrs. Kemble, whose journal of six months' resi- 
dence upon a Georgia plantation is accepted as so conclusive a de- 
scription of the treatment of the slaves throughout the whole Southern 
population. I entertain the utmost respect for this lady's talents, 
for her very attractive style, and for her perfect sincerity. But I 
demur to the sufficiency of the testimony, because the greater part 
of it rested on the veracity of the slaves, in opposition to her husband 
and his overseer ; and was besides strongly influenced by her own 
previous prejudices, by her exceedingly susceptible temperament, 
and by her manifest ignorance of the state of brutal depravity which 
Mr. Kay sets forth as the condition of the poorer classes in her own 
beloved England, where the substance of slavery remains, under the 
form of freedom. 

Granting, therefore, most willingly, all that can be claimed for the 
personal character of this lady, I can not admit that she was properly 
qualified for the work which she had undertaken. The daughter of 
a distinguished tragedian, herself highly educated and accomplished 
for the stage, brought up in the midst of affluent indulgence, a fas- 
cinating actress and refined gentlewoman, what opportunity had she 
to learn the debased condition of the laboring poor in her own coun- 
try ? And when she came, in her bloom of youth and loveliness, to 
dazzle her admiring audiences in the United States, knowing nothing 
about the negro beyond the popular voice of English abolitionism, 
what time and attention could she possibly devote to the thorough 
investigation of the problem, which had tasked the abilities of the 


ablest statesmen, North and South, to understand its true political 
and social character? Had she ever looked into the awful degradation 
and heathenism of the colored race, on their native soil in Africa ? 
Had she taken any pains to investigate the condition of the free ne- 
groes in the great cities ? Did she belong to the class of those angels 
of mercy who ply their religious task amongst the degraded and 
demoralized masses of our own country ? Had she, in a word, ac- 
quired any degree whatever of the experience, observation, and prac- 
tical wisdom, necessary for the formation of a calm and reliable 
judgment on such a question ? 

Not at all ! She passed through a brilliant course of histrionic 
celebrity, and then married a gentleman of great wealth, residing in 
Philadelphia, but owning a large plantation in Georgia. She lived 
and moved in the most luxurious and aristocratic circle. And when 
she accompanied her husband on a visit to his property, where he 
had not been for some years, she brought with her all her strong 
English prejudices against slavery, all her refined disgust towards 
the ordinary habits of English and Irish as well as African laborers, 
all her impulsive and gushing sensibilities, all her fixed resolution to 
open her ears and eyes to one side, while she closed them fast against 
the other, and all her ignorance of the wide field of facts and expe- 
rience the knowledge of which is absolutely essential, before even a 
cool and masculine mind can be fully prepared to form a fair estimate 
of the Southern institution. 

A worse qualified witness, therefore, on such a subject, it would 
be difficult to imagine. I should as soon think of appointing a board- 
ing-school girl to frame a code of laws, or to inspect the management 
of our colleges, as of selecting Mrs. Kemble to settle the administra- 
tion of a social system, embracing four millions of slaves, and involv- 
ing the interests of nearly half the States on our vast continent. 

Yet even under the strong bias of her habits, her feelings, and her 
prejudices, she informs us of much which places the condition of the 
slaves on this Georgia plantation far above the debased state of the 
English peasantry, as it is described by Mr. Kay. She found amongst 
them no promiscuous licentiousness of all ages and both sexes, herd- 
ing like brutes in the same wretched den of filth and darkness. She 
found no drunkenness, no oaths, no obscene and wanton songs, no 
blasphemy, no fighting or violence, no midnight cries of murder, no 
stolid ignorance of the simplest religious truth, no children brought up 


to be thieves and pickpockets, no fathers and mothers poisoning or 
starving their little ones to obtain the burial-fees, no wandering beg- 
gars, no work-houses to be the miserable refuge of cast-off old age, 
and no necessity for an annual tax, to keep body and soul together. 
All this, and more, I have proved to exist throughout the laboring 
masses in England, by the testimony of Mr. Kay, transcribed from 
the speeches of Lord Ashley, the committees appointed by the British 
Parliament, the letters of magistrates, rectors, and curates, from every 
quarter of the land, the author of the book being himself appointed 
by the great University of Cambridge as a commissioner, to collect 
the facts ; and having spent a long period in traveling throughout the 
kingdom, in the execution of his sad but most important mission. 

But there is one fact recorded*by Mrs. Kemble, which I confess 
astonished me. And as it is one which is equally likely to surprise 
my readers, I shall transcribe her words in full. 

On her visit to St. Simon's Island, she saith : " At the door, I 
found another petitioner, a young woman named Maria, who brought 
a fine child in her arms, and demanded a present of a piece of flannel. 
Upon my asking her who her husband was, she replied, without 
much hesitation, that she did rot possess any such appendage. I 
gave another look at her bonny baby, and went into the house to get 

the flannel for her. I afterwards heard from Mr. that she and 

two other girls of her age about seventeen were the only instances 
on the island of women with illegitimate children." (pp. 134-5, Har- 
per's ed. 1863.) 

When we look back at Mr. Kay's statement of bastardy amongst 
the English peasantry, where he informs us that the cases amount 
to fifty-three per cent ; and then compare with it the condition of the 
negroes on this plantation, containing some hundreds of slaves, and 
yet having only three girls who were the mothers of illegitimate child- 
ren ; we can not fail to see the vast superiority on the side of this 
much-abused institution, even in that special point, which its adver- 
saries assume to be most open to reprobation. 

Nor is this the whole of Mrs. Kemble's statements. She praises 
the docility and affectionate temper of the slaves. She praises their 
devout spirit, their readiness to receive religious instruction, and their 
attention to the teaching of their own pious colored preacher. She 
praises the attainments and character of the slave who was the en- 
gineer, and conducted the mills of the establishment. She pnaises the 


deportment of the young slave who was her special attendant. She 
describes the ball which the slaves got up in honor of her arrival. 
She tells her readers that the slaves profess, at least, to be contented, 
and had no wish to run away. She sets forth their music and their 
songs not very poetical, indeed, but free from any thing like cor- 
ruption. And while she complains that the driver was allowed to 
carry a whip into the field, and to give twelve lashes, but no more, to 
the disobedient or the lazy, she forgets, or is ignorant, that in her 
own beloved country, the schoolmaster carried his rod, and laid it on 
his pupils, at his discretion ; that the system of fagging, in which 
every younger pupil is a servant to the senior, still prevails in Eng- 
land ; that flogging remains in the army and navy ; that eight 
millions exist in that happy kingdom, who can not read or write ; 
that five millions sterling are expended every year, to keep them 
from starving; and that they are sunk, by wretchedness and poverty, 
to the lowest degree of immorality and degradation. 

And, above all, she forgets to compare the condition of these slaves 
in Georgia with that of the savages of Dahomey, from which they 
w'ere descended. She forgets that slavery was the only means by 
which they could have been raised to their present degree of light 
and civilization. She forgets that three thousand slaves are emanci- 
pated by their masters, on an average, every year. She forgets that 
out of these emancipated slaves the State of Liberia has sprung into 
existence, and that the future extension of the same noble work will be 
the great instrumentality, through which the providence of the All-wise 
God will redeem, in time, the whole vast continent of heathen Africa, 
thus making this much-abused institution a blessing, not only to the 
slaves, but to the world. 

The bondage of Egypt was appointed to the Israelites, as the pre- 
paratory state for their establishment in Canaan. There was no 
attempt to free them by rising against their masters, or inciting them 
to rebellion, although their numbers attained to six hundred thousand 
men, able to bear arms. Moses undertook the work, supposing, as 
St. Stephen saith, that " his brethren would understand how that 
God by his hand would deliver them, but they understood not." 
(Acts 7 : 25.) The time had not yet come. Moses was obliged to 
flee from the wrath of the king, and spend forty years in humble 
labor as a shepherd, before he was commissioned as their leader. 
And then the work was effected, by the power of the Most High, 


without war, or tumult, or violence. The Lord turned the hearts of 
Pharaoh and the Egyptians, and His people were commanded to de- 
part, with gifts and offerings, from " the land of bondage." 

So, when the Israelites were doomed, by the divine decree, to the 
captivity in Babylon, the Almighty, at the time predicted by the 
prophet Jeremiah, inclined Cyrus to send them back into Judea, and 
it was accomplished in concord and in peace. 

So, when slavery died out in the nations of Europe, it was by the 
providence of God, through the various changes of society. No war 
was made upon it, by Church or State. But it faded gradually away, 
without trouble or commotion. 

So, when the slaves were emancipated in the West-Indies, it was 
done by the British Parliament, peaceably and legally, with an ap- 
prenticeship of five years to the negroes, and a fair price paid to the 

The only instance in which slavery was abolished, in war and 
blood, is the horrible case of the St. Domingo butchery, and that was t 
the work of an infidel French Directory, when every atrocity was 
committed in Paris, under the names of liberty, equality, and frater- 
nity. The historian Alison has told us the wretched result to the 
negroes themselves. 

Contemplating these facts, and looking to Liberia, I anticipate the 
time when the same Almighty Ruler will give emancipation to the 
negro race in the Southern States, by inclining the minds of their 
masters to adopt it on a gradual scale of peaceful and beneficent en- 
largement. Not by the red hand of war ; not by a bloody and cruel 
insurrection ; not by arming the blacks against the whites, which 
would be most likely to produce a general massacre of the colored 
population ; not by keeping up a bitter and unceasing assault upon 
an institution which is preparing a Christian host to regenerate the 
barbarous hordes of heathen Africa ; not by degrading the pulpits of 
the North, in order to elevate the dogmas of ultra-abolitionism ; and 
not by hostile attacks upon the Word of God, the testimony of the 
Church, and the Constitution of the country. But by a faithful and 
patient trust in the government of divine Providence, which orders 
every change among the nations by the counsels of unerring wisdom ; 
by kindness and charitable forbearance towards the principles and 
feelings of those who are placed in different circumstances from our 
own ; by a quiet abstinence from a busy intermeddling with evils 


which we have no power to correct ; and by a hopeful assurance 
that, if we do not thwart the course of things by a dangerous precipi- 
tancy, the grace and mercy of the Almighty will accomplish all that 
is best for the negro race, in His own appointed time. And then 
thece will be no blood, no desolations, no groans, nor sighs, nor tears, 
to stain the triumph of emancipation. Ethiopia will stretch out her 
hands to the divine Redeemer, and His faithful disciples will be ready 
to proclaim, " Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good- 
will towards men." 



RIGHT REVEREND BROTHER: I shall now invite your attention, 
and that of my readers in general, to the positive testimony of the 
Southern clergy, on the subject of the treatment and condition of the 
slaves ; not derived from a residence of six months on a single planta- 
tion, but drawn from an intimate and life-long familiarity with all the 
facts connected with the institution. 

The first evidence is entitled to serious consideration and respect, 
being an extract from an " Appeal of Southern Clergymen, addressed 
to Christians throughout the world," signed by ninety-five ministers, 
and representing all the principal Protestant denominations. It was 
published in England, in the Edinburgh Review, as well as in the 
Southern States, and bears date at Richmond, April 22, 1863. I 
omit all that portion of this interesting document which discusses the 
war, and confine my extract to the paragraphs which concern my 
special subject. 

" We are aware," saith this Appeal, " that in respect to the moral 
aspects of the question of slavery, we differ from those who conceive 
of emancipation as a measure of benevolence, and on that account we 
suffer much reproach which we are conscious of not deserving. "With 
all the facts of the system of slavery, in its practical operations be- 
fore us, * as eye-witnesses and ministers of the Word, having had 
perfect knowledge of all things' on the subject of which we speak, we 
may surely claim respect for our opinions and statements. Most of 
us have grown up from childhood among the slaves ; all of us have 
preached to and taught them the Word of Life ; have administered 
to them the ordinances of the Christian Church ; sincerely love them 
as souls for whom Christ died ; we go among them freely, and know 
them in health and sickness, in labor and rest, from infancy to old 
age. We are familiar with their physical and moral condition, and 
alive to all their interests ; and we testify in the sight of God, that 
the relation of master and slave among us, however we may deplore 


abuses in this, as in other relations of mankind, is not incompatible 
with our holy Christianity, and that the presence of the Africans in 
our land is an occasion of gratitude in their behalf, before God, seeing 
that thereby Divine Providence has brought them where missionaries 
of the Cross may freely proclaim to them the word of salvation, and 
the work is not interrupted by agitating fanaticism. The .South has 
done more than any people on earth for the Christianization of the 
African race. The condition of slaves here is not wretched, as North- 
ern fictions would have men believe, but prosperous and happy, and 
would have been yet more so, but for the mistaken zeal of abolition- 
ists. Can emancipation obtain for them a better portion ?" 

" The practicable plan for benefiting the African race must be the 
providential plan the Scriptural plan. We adopt that plan in the 
South, and while the States should seek, by wholesome legislation, to 
regard the interest of master and slave, we, as ministers, would preach 
the Word to both, as we are commanded of God. This war has not 
benefited the slaves. Those that have been encouraged or compelled 
to leave their masters have gone, and we aver can go, to no state of 
society that offers them any better things than they have at home, 
either in respect to their temporal or eternal welfare. We regard 
abolitionism as an interference with the plans of Divine Providence. 
It has not the signs of the Lord's blessing. It is a fanaticism which 
puts forth no good fruit : instead of blessing, it has brought forth 
cursing ; instead of love, hatred ; instead of life, death ; bitterness 
and sorrow, and pain and infidelity, and moral degeneracy, follow its 
labors. We remember how the Apostle has taught the minister of 
Jesus upon this subject, saying, * Let as many servants as are under 
the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, that the name 
of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. And they that have be- 
lieving masters, let them not despise them because they are brethren ; 
but rather do them service because they are faithful and beloved, par- 
takers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort. If any man 
teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words 
of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to 
godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions 
and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil sur- 
misings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute 
of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness ; from such withdraw 


" This is what we teach, and obedient to the last verse of the text, 
from men that ' teach otherwise ' hoping for peace we * withdraw ' 

In the notes appended to this "Appeal," the following facts are 
stated, and we can not have a better authority for their truth. 

" From.the best sources of information, it is ascertained that the 
whole number of communicants in the Christian Churches of the 
Confederate States is about two millions and fifty thousand." 

" Of these, the number of white communicants is about one million 
five hundred and fifty thousand. Supposing the total white population 
to be eight millions, and one half that number to be over eighteen 
years of age, a little more than one third of the adult population are 
members of the Church of Christ." 

" The number of colored communicants is about five hundred thou- 
sand. Assuming the colored population to be four millions, there 
would be, upon the same method of computation, one fourth of the 
adult population in union with the Church of Christ. Thus has God 
blessed us in gathering into his Church from the children of Africa 
more than twice as many as are reported from all the converts in the 
Protestant missions throughout the heathen world." 

I regard this testimony as conclusive as any evidence can be, when 
we remember that there is no proof of the contrary which can be at 
all compared with it in number or in value. And I proceed to another 
statement published by Bryan Tyson, Esq., of North-Carolina, at 
Washington, 1863, which is important on the two most serious charges 
concerning evil treatment and marriage. 

" We shall look at the institution of slavery," saith this writer, " in 
a family where there are some thirty or forty servants. We find 
among them a good many women and children, and some old men 
and women who are not able to do regular field labor. So, out of the 
whole, we shall probably not get more than four ninths who are regu- 
lar field-hands. The children play about at their sports, the white 
and black almost invariably together, until they reach a proper age 
to be put to work, which is light at first, but as they grow older, 
gradually assumes a heavier form, until they can do any work belong- 
ing to the farm. They thus continue to labor, and in the course of 
time, declining years set in, and they cease to be regular field-hands 
any longer. They have now some light work assigned to them, such 
as boiling food, feeding stock, looking after the children, etc. Thus, 


of the three stages, youth, maturity, and old age, through which the 
servants pass, there is but one in which they are relied on as regular 
laborers. In childhood and in old age, they are well taken care of, 
and thus the whole slave population is rendered self-supporting. So, 
of the 3,953,760 slaves that were in the United States in 1860, there 
was not one supported by a public tax. Such an instance, I presume, 
is unknown among an equal number of the industrial classes, any- 
where in the civilized world. I will ask where else on the face of the 
globe could you go to find, in a population of nearly four millions, no 
paupers?" (Pamphlet on the Institution of Slavery, etc., ly Bryan 
Tyson, p. 8-9.) 

" The servants at the South, for the most part, receive good treat- 
ment, as is evident from the census returns of 1860. During that 
year there were 3000 servants manumitted, and 803 escaped to the 
North, making a total loss to the slave population of 3803. Taking 
this as the average for the past decade, there would have been a loss 
to the slave population of 38,030. But with these odds against them, 
the slave population at the South increased during the decade ending 
in 1860 no less than 23.39 per cent, while the free blacks, after being 
augmented by about 38,030, increased only 12.33 per cent. The 
women, at times when their health is delicate, are not required to 
labor, being taken about as good care of as a member of the white 
family under similar circumstances." 

" The servants at the South are not only, generally speaking, well 
treated, but becoming respect is also shown to them in old age. The 
white children are even taught to call the elderly servants uncle or 
aunt, as the case may be. I was thus brought up myself, and it still 
appears natural for me to do so." (Ib. p. 10-1.) 

" As regards evil treatment, I admit that there are a few who do 
not treat their servants well, but the number is small in comparison 
with those who do treat them well. The time has never been, and 
probably never will be, when, in a population of four millions of 
people, whether they be bond or free, there will not be some acts of 
violence committed on the weak and inoffensive." (Ib. p. 27.) 

" The past summer, a year ago, I was at a friend's house in Chat- 
ham County, North-Carolina, who owned a good many servants. It 
was in time of wheat-harvest. About dusk, the hands came in from 
their laborious work. It would seem that all might have been tired 
enough without seeking farther exercise in diversions j but not so. 


After supper the banjo was brought forth, and preparations made for 
a social dance. They soon struck up in high glee. I remarked to 
my friend that negroes enjoyed a great deal of satisfaction and pleas- 
ure. Yes, said he, the most of any people in the world. He told 
me that wishing to finish a certain field of grain, they had labored 
very hard that day. But one would not have judged so from present 
appearances. When I went to rest, they were still in the midst of 
their glee, their busy feet keeping time to the music." (Ib. p. 12.) 

The writer states another fact, which gives a stronger proof of the 
estimation attached by the negroes to their condition. " The com- 
fort of the bond-servant is such," saith he, " that I have actually 
known free persons of color to choose their masters and voluntarily 
enslave themselves. This may appear very singular to us, but unless 
they expected to better their circumstances it is still more strange 
that they should thus voluntarily give away their liberty." (Ib. 
p. 13.) 

In answer to the prevailing opinion at the North that the slaves 
are never legally married, Mr. Tyson makes the following statement, 
which is worthy of great attention : 

" A great many of the servants are married after book form ; and 
they all, so far as my knowledge extends, have their choice in this 
matter, whether to be married after book form, or cohabit under a 
vow. The essential part of the marriage contract consists in a solemn 
vow between the parties, and a faithful observance thereof. The 
servants that cohabit under a vow are fully as faithful to their com- 
panions as those who are married after book form, and in both cases 
they are generally true to their engagements." (Ib. p. 22-3.) 

And with regard to the separation of families, the writer saith : 
" In a sojourn of over twenty years at the South, I have known but 
very few cases where a man and his wife were parted. There is a 
disposition among the people to keep them together as much as pos- 
sible. But I should be glad to see laws passed at the South to 
prohibit a man and his wife from being separated under any and all 
circumstances, and such is now the case in some of the States." (Ib. 
p. 26-7.) 

On the comparative advantages to the slave over the free laborer, 
the writer remarks as follows : 

" It should be borne in mind that the relations existing between a 
master and his servant are quite different from those existing between 


the same person and a hired servant. In the one case he is con- 
sidered and treated as a member of the family ; in the other, but 
little regard is manifested for him after receiving his wages, and 
he is able to obtain but few favors only such as he can purchase 
with his money which in many instances are fewer than the bond- 
servant enjoys." (Ib. p. 26.) 

Of the feelings expressed by the freed negroes, the writer gives 
some instances which fell under his own observation : 

" A negro man (one of the lately emancipated servants) told me in 
the streets of Newbern, that he was not as free now as he was before 
he came into the Federal lines. And also that he fared better, par- 
ticularly in sickness, for, said he, when I got sick, I had some person 
to bring medicine to me ; but it is not so now." 

" A woman that had belonged to a gentleman who owned some 
three hundred of those people, said she fared better and was better 
contented before obtaining her freedom than she had been since." 

" And an old colored person with whom I conversed at the market- 
house, in this city, (Washington,) but a few days ago, said that a 
good many years before, his master, living in South-Carolina, eman 
cipated himself and family, consisting of his wife and seven children- 
four boys and three daughters and gave them money to pay their 
expenses to a free State. He said that at first he hailed this change 
with much joy, as he expected to get aid from his children ; but they 
had all scattered off, his wife was dead, and he was dependent on 
his own labor for support, and now, being very old, he was ill able 
to labor. I asked him which situation he would prefer, to be back 
with his master, or live the way he was now living ? He said that 
his master was a good and kind man, and if he was now back with 
him, he would never consent to leave him again. Said he, I then 
had some time to rest, but I have none now." (Ib. p. 31-2.) 

This testimony from a witness who speaks with a perfect know- 
ledge of the truth, is more minute than the Appeal from the 95 
Southern clergy, but it is in entire accordance with it, and must go 
far, with any impartial mind, to correct many of the most popu- 
lar prejudices against the Southern institution. But I shall add 
one more extract from a different quarter, before I dismiss the topic, 
and then hasten to my conclusion. 



RIGHT REVEREND BROTHER: Amongst the great number of dis- 
courses published on the subject of slavery in the Southern States, I 
shall select for my readers a portion of one which was delivered by 
the Rev. George D. Cummins, D.D., in St. Peter's Church, Baltimore, 
January 4, 1861. The title of this able and eloquent sermon ex- 
presses the leading idea of most of the Southern clergy : " THE AF- 
myself to that part of it in which this position is maintained. 

" By the light of Scripture, and the history of the early Church," 
saith Dr. Cummins, "a Christian man whose lot is cast amidst 
slavery in this age and nation, is enabled to ascertain his duty to- 
wards it and that is :" 

"To regard the African race in bondage (and in freedom too) as 
a solemn trust committed to this people from God, and that He has 
given to us the great mission of working out His purposes of mercy 
and love towards them. The Anglo-American, the tutelar guardian 
of the African this is the lofty view to which we now rise. It is a 
study of intense interest to trace the workings of God's Providence 
in the mode He has chosen to effect His purposes concerning these 
children of Ham. He has linked together, by a counsel of infinite 
wisdom, the destiny of two races, more diverse from each other than 
any two upon the globe. By the silver thread of His Providence the 
weakest race on the earth has been joined to the strongest, the oldest 
to the newest, the most repulsive barbarism to the highest civili- 
zation, the darkest superstition to the brightest and purest Christ- 

" Other races have at different periods of history been brought into 
close and intimate relations with the African race, as the Roman and 
the Castilian, but not to these has God intrusted this great work. 
To the Anglo-Saxon and the American has he reserved the high 


" God has brought these people to our doors, and placed them in 
our homes, and said to us by, His Providence : 4 Take this child and 
nurse it for me, and I will give thee wages.' It is a sublime trust, 
a stupendous work worthy of the genius of this Christian nation, to 
train, to discipline a race, to prepare them to work out the destiny of 
a continent of one hundred and fifty millions of the same race. We 
believe this to be the design of God, in the presence and condition of 
the African in this land. And it is for us to decide whether we will 
fulfill this high mission, or fail ignominiously under it. We can not 
decline the trust ; it is ours by inheritance, and not by our seeking. 
We can not escape from its responsibilities if we would. But how 
shall we best fulfill that trust ? This question involves and deter- 
mines our duty towards the African in servitude. How shall we 
prove ourselves their truest friends their best guardians? How 
discharge our duty towards them in the light of our duty to the 
Master whom we serve ? Will it be by seeking hastily and violently 
to change their condition, and bid them go forth from under our 
guardianship ? As well might we turn from our doors our children 
of tender years, and send them forth, helpless, into the world, expos- 
ed to every evil. It has been well and truthfully said that ' if the 
South should, at this moment, surrender every slave, the wisdom of 
the entire world, united in solemn council, could not solve the ques- 
tion of their disposal.' But we may add, that the Providence of God 
will solve it, in His own time, if we do not rashly thwart His plans, 
by our short-sighted schemes. It may, indeed, be a long time before 
He develops all His purposes towards the African race, and, like 
ancient Israel, He may prolong the time of their discipline. But in 
all His sublime arrangements, there is ever the same slow and stately 
movement, ever the absence of all haste. It required four thousand 
years to prepare the world for the advent of Christianity ; and it may 
require four thousand more to extend its triumphs over the whole 
earth. But we can well be patient and wait on Him, with whom a 
thousand years are as one day." (p. 19-22.) 

After giving a full account of the great attention paid at the South 
to the religious instruction of the slaves, Rev. Dr. Cummins proceeds 
to make the following interesting statement : 

" To a Christian slaveholder, his slaves occupy a relation scarcely 
inferior to that of children ; they form part of his household, and for 
their temporal and eternal welfare he feels himself responsible to God, 


How profound is this feeling of responsibility, I can attest from a 
personal residence among the pious masters of Virginia ; I ' speak 
that which I know, and testify that which I have seen.' It was my 
lot to minister at the altar of a church where, along with three hun- 
dred whites, fifty slaves knelt by them to receive the sacrament of 
the Lord's supper. I have seen the master standing at the chancel 
of the church to act as sponsor in baptism for a faithful slave who 
came forward to receive the sacred rite. I have seen Christian 
women of the highest refinement and social position, sitting down on 
every Lord's day in the midst of the classes of a Sunday-school of 
slaves, to instruct them in the knowledge of salvation. I have known 
the slave girl in consumption to be taken into the chamber of her 
mistress, and nursed with a care equal to a mother's tenderness, and 
the passage to the grave illumined by the light of Christian sympathy 
and love. And I have seen a congregation of three thousand slaves 
presided over by their regular pastor, the President of a College, at 
the close of each sermon responding to the catechetical instruction 
concerning the truths preached." 

"But it will be said that, according to the example of the Apostles 
and the early Christians, our whole duty towards slavery is not ful- 
filled until we do our part to correct its abuses and remove the evils 
attendant upon it and we freely admit this. It is our part and 
duty, following in the steps of the Apostles, to tell both masters and 
servants of their mutual duties, and to warn them against abusing 
the relation in which they stand to each other to say to the servant, 
' Obey your master in singleness of heart, as unto the Lord ' to say 
to the masters, ' Give unto your servants that which is just and equal.' 
And we firmly and earnestly believe that there is not an evil con- 
nected with slavery, as it now exists in the Southern States, which 
in due time would not be corrected and removed by the force of 
Christian sentiment, enlightened by the Holy Spirit, and guided by 
the Word of God. There is power enough in the Christianity of 
the South to grapple with and solve all the difficulties of this great 
question, if left unhindered l)y interference from without" (p. 

I might fill a volume with similar testimony from bishops, clergy- 
men, and laymen ; but this may suffice to prove the general fact, to 
which there are few exceptions, namely, that the Southern slave- 
holders are just and kind to their slaves, and that the negro race, 


under their care, are far better provided for, both temporally and 
spiritually, than the laboring classes in England, or the free negroes 
among ourselves. 

My own personal acquaintance with the institution is very trifling, 
being limited to a residence of three weeks in St. Louis and New- 
Orleans, during the delivery of a course of lectures about as long in 
Richmond, at our General Convention, in 1859, where you were also 
present, and afterwards, some three months in Tennessee. All the 
slaves with whom I came in contact on these occasions were house- 
servants ; but a superior class of domestics I have never seen, nor has 
it ever been my lot to witness so much kindliness of feeling towards 
servants as seemed to exist towards these, from all the members of 
the family. 

I can not, however, pretend to any knowledge personally of the 
condition of the slaves upon the plantations. But I conversed largely 
on the subject with our episcopal and clerical brethren, in whose state- 
ments I could place the most absolute confidence ; and it was impos- 
sible to avoid the conclusion that the generous credulity of the North 
had been grossly deluded with respect to the treatment of the slaves ; 
that the cases of severe or inhuman usage were rare and exceptional, 
and that, as a general rule, the negroes were really what the Southern 
people esteemed them the happiest laborers in the world. 

But what then, it may be asked, are we to make of the strong dis- 
like expressed towards slavery by Washington, Jefferson, and many 
of the eminent men who formed the Constitution ? What of the 
efforts made, after their day, to abolish it in Virginia and Kentucky ? 
And what of the array of facts collected and published, in positive 
proof of the terrible barbarity connected with the system ? 

I answer that all this is freely admitted as a very reasonable ground 
for objecting to the institution, if it were an original question. And 
it may also warrant a strong desire that it might be abolished as soon 
as it can be, peaceably, justly, and wisely for the interests of all con- 
cerned. But it furnishes no ground for denouncing it as a sin to hold 
a slave, when he is properly treated no ground for supposing that 
the slaves are not generally treated well no ground for abusing the. 
Constitution which provides for slavery, and which Washington and 
all his colleagues approved ; and especially no ground for imputing 
iniquity to a social relation which was sanctioned both by the Old 
and the New Testament, which was held to be lawful before God by 



the voice of the Universal Church for more than eighteen centuries, 
and which is still allowed by the vast majority of Christians at the 
present day. Let us examine the objections, however, a little more 

With respect to the wish expressed for the abolition of slavery by 
Washington, Jefferson, and others, I have over and over again main- 
tained the same opinion, that such a measure was highly expedient 
and desirable, and have further endeavored to show how it might be 
effected. But did these great men esteem it a sin to hold slaves ? The 
notion is absurd, because it is notorious that they were slaveholders 
themselves to the end of their days. Or did they even make any sys- 
tematic effort in Virginia to have slavery abolished ? They certainly 
did not. And if they had made such an effort, is it possible to suppose 
that they would have insisted, like the ultra-abolitionist, upon imme- 
diate emancipation, and have thus nullified the provisions of the Con- 
stitution which they had just approved ? Surely such folly and incon- 
sistency could never be imputed to those distinguished patriots by 
any one who has not himself lost his reason. 

The truth is that the abhorrence of these great men was most pro- 
bably produced by the slave-trade, which was not given up until 1808, 
and which brought into the South, every year, fresh importations of 
the wretched Africans, in their savage state, the civilizing and instruct 
ing of whom must have been a very distressing and difficult task to 
the planters at the South a task which, doubtless, they would gladly 
have avoided if it had been in their power. But it is against all reason 
to suppose that the fathers of the American Constitution could ever 
have given the slightest countenance to our modern ultra-abolitionism, 
which was not heard of until some years after they were in their 
graves. Washington died in 1799, Jefferson in 1826, and the emanci- 
pation of the slaves in the British West-Indies, which gave birth to 
ultra-abolitionism, did not take place until 1834, eight years after- 

The plan of abolition advocated in Virginia and Kentucky by Mr. 
Randolph and Mr. Clay, was not rested on the modern absurdity that 
slaveholding was a sin, because they also, as well as Washington and 
Jefferson, were slaveholders all their lives. Neither was it a plan of 
immediate but of gradual abolition, like that which Pennsylvania 
and many other States had adopted long before. Between their views 
and mv own there is no difference. 


And with regard to the array of facts collected by the gifted Mrs. 
Stowe and others, I do not question their truth ; but I deny that they 
afford any ground for impeaching the lawfulness of the institution, so 
far as the relation of master and slave is concerned, because they are 
all cases of abuse, which are not the proper, much less the necessary 
results of the institution ; on the contrary, they are transgressions 
against the rules laid down to the master in the Word of God, and 
therefore sins before heaven. No maxim is better settled than this, 
namely, that the abuse of a thing does not take away the use of it. 
If it were otherwise, every relation in life would be destroyed, for 
there is not one amongst them that is not abused continually. 

Suppose, for example, that the same industry were applied to the 
relation of man and wife, and that some feminine advocate of the 
Free-love notion were to advertise in the city of New-York that she 
was ready to listen to the complaints of every poor woman who had 
a cruel, a dissipated, or a faithless husband, and give her relief. Is 
there any doubt that such a philanthropist would be thronged with 
visitors, and that the tales of domestic suffering many of them most 
sad and heart-breaking would be numerous enough to fill a volume 
in a very short time ? Fifty such stories would make a respectable 
book, and if related with the talent of Mrs. Stowe or Mrs. Kemble, 
would certainly be painfully interesting. What then ? Granting 
that they were all true, as many of them unquestionably would be, 
could they authorize any man to conclude that all the other wives in 
the city were equally abused, that abuse is therefore inseparable from 
marriage, that marriage is consequently a sin against humanity, and 
hence, that the institution itself should be abolished without delay ? 

The population of New-York is about eight hundred thousand. I 
presume that amongst the whole there must be at least one tenth 
who are married women, which would give us eighty thousand wives 
to be sent adrift, on account of the abuse suffered by fifty or one hun- 
dred ! Is there any reason, justice, or even common-sense in this ? 
Yet such is precisely the logic of the ultra-abolitionist when he makes 
the narrative of some hundred instances of cruelty a reason for the 
immediate emancipation, not of eighty thousand, but four million of 
Southern slaves. 

But judging fairly by the rules of evidence, notwithstanding my 
own habits and sympathies are in nowise partial to the institution, I 
can not doubt that these cases of abuse are mere exceptions, and that 


the general treatment which the slaves receive is such as would be- 
come a Christian people. For such, as we have seen, is the positive 
evidence of the most competent witnesses. And I can see no reason 
why it should be otherwise. It is natural that the master should use 
them kindly, because they are a part of his own family ; and harsh 
treatment would not only prevent their laboring cheerfully and pro- 
fitably, but would provoke them to mischief or tempt them to run 
away. It is natural that he should regard them with affection, and 
desire that they should regard him with affection in return ; for how 
can a man, who loves even his horse and his dog, fail to love a human 
being who works for his benefit, and looks up to him for protection 
and support V And when, to the ordinary sympathies of nature, we 
add the duty of religion in the case of those who are Christians, how 
manifest does it seem that the treatment of the slave, as a general 
rule, must be in accordance with justice, benevolence, and conscien- 
tious care ? 

That it is so, is proved by the direct testimony of the Southern 
clergy, and by these unquestionable facts besides : First, that not- 
withstanding all the inducements held out by ultra-abolitionists, only 
eight hundred and three slaves out of four millions, (or one in five 
thousand,) abandoned their masters in the year 1860, while three thou- 
sand were voluntarily emancipated. Secondly, that during the three 
years of this mournful war, the great body of the slaves have been 
faithful and attached. There has been no ta"king advantage of the 
absence of the male members of the family no rising into insurrec- 
tions and no apprehensions entertained by the white population that 
any disturbance would occur, unless they were alienated and per- 
verted by hostile influences from some other quarter. This fact alone 
is worth more than a volume of individual testimony, and ought to 
be decisive on the question. 

It may be said, indeed, that the declarations of Southern men should 
be put out of view, because they are interested in the maintenance of 
slavery, and it is a sound rule of law that no man is a competent wit- 
ness in his own cause. But this rule is limited to matters of private 
and individual dispute, and operates only on the parties who appear 
before a court of justice. Whereas this controversy involves an in- 
stitution which affects the whole of the Southern States, and therefore 
the people of the South are the proper judges of its practical results 
among them. If it were a Northern institution, the men of the North 


would be the best witnesses. But being a Southern institution, the 
men of the South must know it far better than we do. It is thus 
that we deal with all great questions. We do not expect a foreign 
traveler to do justice to our American system. We say, and say 
truly, that he does not understand it ; and we claim the right to be 
its exponents ourselves. We say that even the different portions of 
these United States can not form a fair estimate of each other ; that 
Southern men do not and can not appreciate the merits of the North- 
ern character, while Northern men are just as liable to err concerning 
the South. There is, indeed, nothing more rare amongst the best and 
most enlightened persons, than the disposition to make a kindly and 
liberal estimate of customs, laws, or habits with which they have not 
been thoroughly familiarized ; and the difficulty is greatly increased 
when the institutions of a country are opposed to the ideas and sym- 
pathies which we have cherished from infancy. Hence, in order to 
be really just to other states of society, we must try to put ourselves, 
as much as possible, in their position ; and this we can only do by 
placing all reasonable confidence in what they say of themselves, in 
those open and public documents which they set before the world. 

Instead of this, however, the ordinary course is to regard the insti- 
tution from our own stand-point, as if it were a controversy about 
the propriety of making slaves of freemen. Hence the popular ques- 
tion, which so many take for a convincing argument : " How would 
you like to be a slave ?" They forget that the history of the matter 
has nothing to do with the enslaving of any freeman. They forget 
that these Southern slaves, so far as we know, have never been free, 
at least for centuries that their ancestors were slaves amongst the 
barbarous and heathen tribes of Africa that their Southern masters 
have not deprived them of any right which they possessed before, but 
have, on the contrary, raised them up from the lowest depths of 
pagan darkness to be Christian men and women, and have bestowed 
liberty upon thousands every year, from whom the State of Liberia 
has taken its rise, giving the best ground for hope that millions of 
these Southern negroes will in due time issue from the South, to be 
the missionaries to their fatherland, and regenerate that savage con- 
tinent by the power of the Gospel. And they forget that the South, 
having in truth done more to elevate the African race than all the 
world besides, have a right to consider the work as belonging to 


themselves, in the order of Providence, and should be permitted to 
carry it on, without reproach or interference, in their own way. 

There is another popular notion which does very little credit to 
our Northern understanding, and that is the strangely absurd state- 
ment that the negro slave gets nothing for his labor ! On the con- 
trary, it is demonstrable that he receives a larger compensation, on 
the whole, than any of us would choose to pay, in the support of 
himself from his birth to his burial, and the support besides of his 
wife and children, in sickness and in health, in childhood and old 
age, without any danger of the poor-house, or of begging, or of starva- 
tion. Mrs. Kemble herself states that the slaves had not only a reg- 
ular allowance of food and clothing, but also had a garden-spot at- 
tached to their cottages, and were free to raise all sorts of fowls, 
except turkeys, for their own use, while a regular physician was em- 
ployed to attend to their diseases. I doubt whether any Northern 
farmer or manufacturer would be willing to make the same bargain 
with his laborers. I doubt whether he would think himself likely to 
clear as much profit from their work as he does now, when he only 
pays for what is actually done, and is at no expense for house, or lot, 
or food, or clothing, or children, or old age, or sickness, or burial. 
And the superiority of advantage to the negro is sufficiently plain, if 
the reader considers the immense amounts paid yearly in our North- 
ern States for the support of the poor, and then remembers that 
among the four millions of Southern slaves there is not one pauper 
dependent on public charity. 



RIGHT REVEREND BROTHER : Amongst the prominent and admired 
antagonists of the Southern institution, the late Theodore Parker oc- 
cupied a conspicuous place ; and a few extracts from his autobi- 
ography may be instructive as a convincing proof, that the philan- 
thropy of the great leaders in ultra-abolitionism has no affinity with 
the religion of the Bible. I quote from the recent volumes containing 
his "Life and Correspondence, by John Weiss," published by the 
Messrs. Appleton. 

Speaking of the results of his theological studies, while preparing 
for the ministry, Mr. Parker presents us with this frank statement of 
infidelity, in the appendix to the second volume, p. 454, viz. : 

" I studied," saith he, " the historical development of religion and 
theology amongst Jews and Christians, and saw the gradual forma- 
tion of the great ecclesiastical doctrines which so domineered over 
the world. As I found the Bible was the work of men, so I also 
found that the Christian Church was no more divine than the British 
State, a Dutchman's shop, or an Austrian farm. The miraculous in- 
fallible Bible, and the miraculous infallible Church, disappeared when 
they were closely loolced at ; and I found the fact of history quite dif- 
ferent from the pretension of theology." 

Here we have the open avowal of sheer infidelity. This man of 
superior talents, energy, and influence, professing to be a minister of 
the Gospel, attaches no importance to the express words of Christ : 
" Upon this Rock I will build MY CHURCH, and the gates of hell shall 
not prevail against it." (Matt. 16 : 18.) He takes no account of our 
Lord's declaration: "If he neglect to hear THE CHURCH, let him be 
unto thee as an heathen man and a publican." (Matt. 18 : 17.) And 
the multiplied statements of the Apostles, of course, go for nothing. 
St. Paul might say that " Christ is the head of THE CHURCH," (Eph. 
5 : 23 ;) that Christ " loved THE CHURCH, and gave Himself for it," 
(Eph. 5 : 25 ;) that THE CHURCH is " the pillar and ground of the 


truth," (1 Tim. 3:15.) And St. Luke might declare that the Lord 
added to THE CHURCH daily, " such as should be saved." (Acts 2 : 47.) 
All these, together with a large number of similar passages, were of no 
weight in the judgment of Mr. Parker, because he had satisfied him- 
self that the Bible was " the work of men," and that " the Church 
was no more divine than a Dutchman's shop, or an Austrian's farm !" 
And this is the teaching which thousands of deluded minds accept, 
as if it were the utterance of an infallible oracle ! 

The highly-gifted Mr. Emerson seems to have as little confidence 
in the Church as Mr. Parker. " I and my neighbors," saith he, " have 
been bred in the notion, that unless we came soon to some good 
Church Calvinism, or Behmenism, or Romanism, or Mormonism 
there would be a universal thaw and dissolution. No Isaiah or Jer- 
emy has arrived. Nothing can exceed the anarchy that has followed 
in our skies. The stern old faiths have all pulverized ! 'Tis a whole 
population of gentlemen and ladies out in search of a religion." * 

This is tolerably strong ; but he exceeds it in the startling declara- 
tion that "God builds His temple in the heart on the ruins of 
Churches and religions."^ 

And his estimate of the masses is remarkable for its severity. 
"Shall we judge a country by the majority," saith he, "or by the 
minority ? By the minority, surely. Leave this hypocritical prating 
about the masses. Masses are rude, lame, unmade, pernicious in 
their demands and influence, and need not to be flattered, but to be 
schooled. I wish not to concede any thing to them, but to tame, 
drill, divide, and break them up, and draw individuals out of them. 
The worst of charity is that the lives you are asked to preserve are 
not worth preserving. Masses ! the calamity is the masses. I do not 
wish any mass at all, but honest men only ; lovely, sweet, accom- 
plished women only; and no shovel-handed, narrow-brained, gin- 
drinking, million stockingers or lazzaroni at all. If Government 
knew how, I should like to see it check, not multiply the population."! 

In this extraordinary effusion of transcendental philosophy, the 
nerves of Mr. Emerson seem to have gotten the mastery of his under- 
standing. The society of the uncultivated " masses " might not be 
agreeable to his refined and sensitive habits ; but how would his in- 

* See Emerson's Oonditct of Life, p. 177, Boston ed. of 1861. 
tlb.p.178. Jib. p. 218-9. 


iellectual " minority " of men, and his " lovely, sweet, accomplished 
women," contrive to live in such a worW as ours, without the "hew- 
ers of wood and drawers of water," the laborers, the artisans, the 
" shovel-handed " tillers of the soil, and the operatives of the mine 
and of the workshop ? "Where would they find the food that sustains, 
or the garments that clothe, or the dwellings that shelter them? 
What means would they employ to build the ships and navigate the 
ocean ? Nay, how would they supply their minds with their favorite 
literature, if the " masses " had not reduced the ores of lead and iron, 
and formed the printing-press, and raised the flax, and made the 
paper, and tanned the leather, and bound the book, and performed 
the whole of the mechanical but indispensable work, which gives the 
best means of earthly fame to the successful author? And what 
would our mighty Republic be at this day, if Mr. Emerson's policy 
had been adopted, by " checking " instead of encouraging the increase 
of those " masses," who are, in truth, the very bone, and sinew, and 
muscle of our country ? 

But strange as such extravagance appears in the eyes of common- 
sense, it seems much worse than strange when we regard it in con- 
trast with the spirit of Christianity. The Saviour of the world looked 
down upon " the masses," not with philosophical contempt, but with 
loving compassion, " as sheep having no shepherd." He did not re- 
serve His Gospel for the intellectual "minority" of men, nor for the 
" sweet, accomplished women," but preached it freely to the multi- 
tudes. He did not praise the self-righteous Pharisee who thanked 
the Lord that he was "not as other men," but rather justified the 
despised publican, who " smote upon his breast, saying : God be 
merciful to me, a sinner." He even chose His own earthly lot among 
" the masses," aided His reputed father, Joseph, in the labors of a 
carpenter, and after He entered on His sacred ministry, and had re- 
fused the offer of a kingly throne, yet He still continued His work of 
mercy to the " common people," from whom He had selected, as His 
favored Apostles, the fishermen of Galilee. Is it possible to conceive 
a more striking contrast than the whole life and doctrine of Christ 
present, to the conscious pride of this transcendental philosopher ? 
Is it possible that we can suppose him to be influenced by religious 
truth when we hear him exclaiming : " The masses ! The calamity 
is the masses. The worst of charity is that the lives you are aslced 
to preserve are not worth preserving;" and then listen to the divine 


Saviour, saying : " To the poor the Gospel is preached. Blessed are 
the poor in spirit, for theirs isthe kingdom of heaven ? " 

But I pass on to some further developments of this admired writer's 
sentiments. In an eloquent Address to the Senior Divinity Class 
connected with Harvard University, delivered July 15th, 1838, this 
passage occurs : 

" It is my duty to say to you that the need was never greater of 
new revelation than now. From the views I have already ex- 
pressed, you will infer the sad conviction, which I share, I believe, 
with numbers, of the universal decay and now almost death of faith 
in society. The soul is not preached. The Church seems to totter 
to its fall, almost all life extinct"* 

And he enlightens his readers by an intimation of his system in 
the following propositions, which he seems to have drawn from that 
grand old heathen slave, the philosopher Epictetus : 

" That is always best," saith he, " which gives me to myself. The 
sublime is excited in me by the great stoical doctrine, OBEY THYSELF. 
That which shows God in me, fortifies me. That which shows God 
out of me, makes me a wart and a wen. There is no longer a neces- 
sary reason for my being, "t 

Speaking, in the same volume, of the decay of religion, Mr. Emer- 
son makes the following statement, viz. : 

" Certainly there have been periods when, from the inactivity of 
the intellect on certain truths, a greater faith was possible in names 
and persons. The Puritans in England and America found, in the 
Christ of the Catholic Church, and in the dogmas inherited from 
Rome, scope for their austere piety, and their longings for civil free- 
dom. But their Creed is passing away, and none arises in its room. 
It is already beginning to indicate character and religion, to withdraw 
from the religious meetings. I have heard a devout person, who 
prized the Sabbath, say, in bitterness of heart: * On Sundays, it seems 
wicked to go to Church.' And the motive that holds the best there, 
is only a hope and a waiting."! 

These passages, which might be greatly multiplied, prove suffi- 
ciently the results of Mr. Emerson's experience within his special 
sphere of observation. And these results appear to my mind to be 

*J5mer6ori'8 Miscellanies, p. 131. t Ib. p. 127. 

$ Emernori'a Miscellanies, p. 138-9. 


the necessary consequence of indulgence in the same self-will, which 
began by a wanton separation from the apostolic system of the Church 
of 'England, and went on, by degrees, to question the divine authority 
of the Bible. The commencement was Puritanism. The next step 
was Socinianism. And the end was a departure, farther and farther, 
from the Standard of religious truth, until the Word of God was re- 
garded as the word of man, and all real faith was set aside, in the 
worship of the individual reason. " Obey thyself" saith this modern 
philosopher. "That which shows God in me, fortifies me. That 
which shows God out of me, makes me a wart and a wen." Here is 
the doctrine which deifies the human mind, and seeks for salvation, 
not in the humble and grateful acceptance of the atoning sacrifice and 
mediation of the glorious Redeemer, offered to us in mercy by the 
free grace of the Holy Spirit ; but in the proud -reliance on our own 
inward light, which scorns to submit itself to any other teacher, how- 
ever celestial and divine! 

But the ideas of this gifted, though sadly erroneous writer, are yet 
more developed in the following passages, viz : 

" The religion which is to guide and fulfil the present and coming 
ages, whatever else it may be, must be intellectual. The scientific 
mind must have a faith which is science. * There are two things,' 
said Mohammed, ' which I abhor, the learned in his infidelities, and the 
fool in his devotions.' Our times are impatient of both, and especially 
of the last. Let us have nothing now which is not its own evidence. 
There is surely enough for the heart and the imagination in the re- 
ligion itself. Let us not be pestered with assertions and half truths, 
with emotions and snuffle." 

" There will be a new church founded on moral science, at first cold 
and naked, a babe in a manger again, the algebra and mathematics of 
ethical law, the church of men to come, without shawms, or psaltery, 
or sackbut ; but it will have heaven and earth for its beams and raf- 
ters ; science for symbol and illustration ; it will fast enough gather 
beauty, music, picture, poetry. Was never stoicism so stern and ex- 
igent as this shall be. It shall send man home to his central solitude, 
shame these social, supplicating manners, and make him know that 
much of the time he must have himself to his friend. He shall ex- 
pect no cooperation, he shall walk with no companion. The nameless 
Thought, the nameless Power, the superpersonal Heart, he shall 
repose alone on that. He needs only his own verdict. No good fame 


can help, no bad fame can hurt him. The Laws are his consolers, the 
good Laws themselves are alive, they know if he have kept them, 
they animate him with the leading of great duty, and an endless hori- 
zon. Honor and fortune exist to him who always recognizes the 
neighborhood of the great, always feels himself in the presence of 
high causes."* 

Here, then, we have Mr. Emerson's ideal of what religion should 
be. He had told us before that the old faiths " have all pulverized" 
that " God builds his temple in the heart on the ruins of churches 
and religions" that " the need was never greater of new revelation 
than now." And he predicts, accordingly, a new church, not founded 
on the Bible, nor on tradition, nor on the authority of miracles and 
prophecy, nor on the recorded Word and work of Christ ; but on 
what he calls MORAL SCIENCE. The evidence of the old truth is of no 
further value. We must have "nothing now which is not its own 
evidence /" 

The sympathy of Mr. Emerson with Mr. Parker is exhibited very 
plainly in a letter, acknowledging the receipt of a book which the lat- 
ter had dedicated to him. This letter is worth transcribing, as a fair 
exponent of the growing power of ultra-abolitionism, in connection 
with infidelity, viz. : 

"CONCORD, MASS., March 19, 1853. 

" MY DEAR PARKER : Before that book came to me, though not un- 
til several weeks after it was sent, I read the inscription, if with more 
pride than was becoming, yet not without some terror. Lately I took 
the book in hand, and read the largest part of it with good heed. I 
find in it all the traits which are making your discourses material to 
the history of Massachusetts ; the realism, the power of local and 
homely illustration, the courage and vigor of treatment, and the mas- 
terly sarcasm now naked, now veiled and I think with a marked 
growth in power and coacervation shall I say ? of statement. To 
be sure, I am in this moment thinking also of speeches out of this 
book, as well as those in it. Well, you will give the times to come 
the means of knowing how the lamp was fed, which they are to thank 
you that they find burning. And though I see you are too good- 
natured by half in your praise of your contemporaries, you will 
neither deceive us nor posterity, nor forgive me yourself any more, 

* Conduct of Life, p. 210. 


in this graceful air of laying on others your own untransferable lau- 

" We shall all thank the right soldier whom God gave strength and 
will to fight for Him the battle of the day." 

" Ever new strength and victory be to you 1" 

"R. "W. EMERSON." 

I shall now return to Mr. Parker, whose course is made perfectly 
plain in his own letters, so copiously published by his admiring bio- 
grapher. Thus he writes to the Hon. S. P. Chase, in 1854. (Vol. ii. 
p. 226.) 

" I have studied this matter of the Divine origin of the Bible and 
the Divine Nature of Jesus of Nazareth all my life. If I understand 
any thing, it is that. I say there is no evidence external or internal 
to show that the Bible or Jesus had any thing miraculous in their 
origin or nature, or any thing divine in the sense that word is com- 
monly used. The common notion on this matter I regard as an error 
one, too, most fatal to the development of mankind. Now in all 
my labors I look to the general development of mankind, as well as 
to the removal of every such special sin as American slavery, as war, 
drunkenness* etc., therefore I introduce my general principle along 
with my special measures. I become personally unpopular, hated 
even ; but the special measures go forward obviously ; the general 
principle enters into the public ear, the public mind, and what is true 
of it will go into the heart of mankind and do its work. I think I 
work prudently I know I do not rashly, and without consideration." 

" Here let me say that the thing I value most in a man is fidelity 
to his own nature, to his mind and conscience, heart and soul." 

No language can be more clear, in proving that this professed min- 
ister of the Gospel had utterly abandoned the old faith of Christian- 
ity. And we shall see the political and philanthropic working of his 
religion, in the following extracts : 

Thus, in a letter to the Hon. Horace Mann, June 27, 1856, (vol. ii. 
p. 188,) Mr. Parker saith: "What a state of things we have in poli- 
tics ! The beginning of the end ! I take it we can elect Fremont ; if 
so, the battle is fought and the worst part of the contest is over. If 
Buchanan is elected, I don't believe the Union holds out three years. 
I shall go for dissolution" 

* See Life and Correspondence of Theodore Pcvrker. Vol. ii. p. 45. 


In another letter, addressed to Professor Desor, during the same 
year, he saith : " If Fremont is not elected, then I look forward to 
what is worse than civil war in the other form, viz., a long series of 
usurpations on the part of the slave-power, and of concessions by the 
North, until we are forced to take the initiative of revolution at the 
North. That will be the worst form of the case, for then the worst 
fighting will be among the Northern men between the friends of free- 
dom and the Hunkers. / expect civil war, and make my calculations 
accordingly^ (Ib. 189.) 

And again, in a letter to Hon. J. P. Hale, dated Oct. 21, 1856, we 
have this declaration, viz. : 

" If Buchanan is President, I think tfte Union does not hold out 
his four years. It must end in civil war, which I have been prepar- 
ing for these six months past. I buy no books, except for pressing 
need. Last year I bought fifteen hundred dollars' worth. This 
year I shall not order two hundred dollars' worth. / may want the 
money for cannons. Have you any plan in case we are defeated ? 
Of course the principles and measures of the administration will re- 
main unchanged, and the mode of execution will be the more intense 
and rapid." 

The views of Mr. Parker are yet more clearly set forth in the fol- 
lowing extract from his Journal, (2 vol. p. 190,) written on the day 
when President Buchanan was elected : 

" This day is not less critical in our history for the future than 
4th July, '76, was for the past. At sunrise there were three alter- 
natives :" 
" 1. Freedom may put down slavery peacefully by due course of 


"2. Slavery may put down freedom in the same way." 
" 3. The friends of freedom and its foes may draw swords and fight." 

" At sunset the people had repudiated the first alternative. Now 
America may choose between Nos. 2 and 3. Of course we shall 
fight. I have expected civil war for months ; now I buy no more 
books for the present. Nay, I think affairs may come to such a pass, 
that my own property may be confiscated ; for who knows that we 
shall beat at the beginning and I hung as a traitor / So I invest 
property accordingly. Wife's will be safe. I don't pay the mortgage 
till 1862." 


And once more, I quote from Mr. Parker's letter to Miss Hunt, in 
Europe, Nov. 17, 1856, (vol. 2, p. 191,) viz. : 

" At New-York and elsewhere, Banks said the election of Fremont 
would settle the slavery question, and stop agitation for thirty years ! 
I opened my eyes when I went out West, and saw that the hands 
of the Republicans are not yet quite clean enough to be trusted with 
power. There has a deal of bad stuff come over to the Republican 
party. I am more than ever of opinion that we must settle this 
question in the old Anglo-Saxon way with the sword." 

" There are two Constitutions for America one writ on parchment 
and laid up at Washington ; the other also on parchment, but on 
the head of a drum. It is to this we must appeal, and before long. 
I make all my pecuniary arrangements with the expectation of civil 

I must confess that I read these declarations of Mr. Parker with 
astonishment, and should not believe them on any evidence less 
satisfactory than that of his admiring biographer. How a professed 
minister of Christ, however he had wandered from the true faith of 
the Gospel, could continue to proclaim, Sunday after Sunday, even 
the moral doctrines of religion, and yet hail with satisfaction the 
bloody horrors of civil war how a zealous philanthropist, in his 
fervent devotion to the abolition of negro slavery, could resolve that 
it must be accomplished by the sword of slaughter how a native 
American, bound by his allegiance to support the Constitution, could 
coolly determine, almost five years before the crisis arrived, that the 
Union should be destroyed by an appeal to the other constitution 
written on the head of a drum, and make all his pecuniary arrange- 
ments with a view to the possibility that he might himself be hung 
as a traitor all this seemed to me so little in accordance with the 
principles and feelings of common humanity, that I could only regard 
it as a kind of monomania a terrible delusion, proceeding from the 
Prince of Darkness, and in direct hostility to the precepts of that 
Divine Redeemer who is the Prince of Peace. 

But Mr. Parker was consistent with all this in his theory of na- 
tural ethics, where he justifies the maxims of supposed right which 
led to the horrid butchery of St. Domingo. For tlfus he writes in a 
letter to Francis Jackson, dated at Rome, in 1859, (vol. ii. p. 170): 

" In my best estate," saith he, " I do not pretend to much political 
wisdom, and still less now while sick ; but I wish yet to set down a 


few thoughts for your private eye, and it may be, for the ear of the 
fraternity. They are, at least, the result of long meditation on the 
subject ; besides, they are not at all new nor peculiar to me, but are 
a part of the public knowledge of all enlightened men" 

" 1. A man held against his will as a slave, has a natural right to 
Mil every one who seeks to prevent his enjoyment of liberty. This 
has long been recognized as a self-evident proposition, coming so 
directly from tb primitive instincts of human nature, that it neither 
required proofs, nor admitted them." 

"2. It may be a natural duty of the slave to develop this natu- 
ral right in a practical manner, and actually Jcill all those who seek 
to prevent his enjoyment of liberty. For if he continues patiently in 
bondage First, he entails the foulest of curses on his children ; and, 
secondly, he encourages other men to commit the crime against na- 
ture which he allows his own master to commit," etc. 

" 3. The freeman has a natural right to help the slaves to recover 
their liberty, and in that enterprise to do for them all which they 
have a right to do for themselves. This statement, I think, requires 
no argument or illustration." 

" 4. It may be a natural duty for the freeman to help the slaves 
to the enjoyment of their liberty, and as means to that end, to aid 
them in Icilling all such as oppose their natural freedom." 

" 5. The performance of this duty is to be controlled by the free- 
man's power and opportunity to help the slaves. The impossible is 
never the obligatory. If I could help the bondmen in Virginia to 
their freedom as easily and effectually as I can aid the runaway at 
my own door, then I ought to do so." 

" These five maxims have a direct application to America at this 
day, and the people of the free States have a certain dim perception 
thereof, which, fortunately, is becoming clearer every year." 

Here, then, we have a full display of the new revelation the gos- 
pel of ultra-abolitionism which anticipated our mournful war as the 
true means to emancipate the negro, and seeks to accomplish this 
favorite object through a deluge of blood, and at any sacrifice of life 
arid treasure. The Union is nothing, for Mr. Parker is for " dissolu- 
tion." The Bible is nothing, for it is " the work of men." The 
Church is nothing, for it has no more sanctity about it than " a 
Dutchman's shop or an Austrian's farm." The Constitution is only 
" a piece of parchment laid up in Washington," and the real consti- 


tution is written on the "parchment on the head of a drum /" The 
power of established law, the safety and contentment of the negro 
race, the advancement of our national prosperity in the path marked 
out by the revolutionary patriots, the oath of office, the feelings of 
civilized humanity, the connections and relationships of families 
spread abroad, North and South, throughout the land all these are 
nothing in the scale of social consideration. The one thing needful 
is the destruction of slavery, no matter at what cost of fearful con- 
sequences. The negroes must be roused to Mil their masters. 
The freemen must be roused to kelp them, as in the case of John 
Brown, who honestly acted on this theory. And the millennium of 
the new Church must be inaugurated in the victory of infidelity, the 
ruin of all the old faith, the contempt of every civil obligation, the 
groans and tears of suffering millions, and the threatened reign of 
bloody anarchy ; ending, too probably, in the worst form of military 
despotism, over a once, happy, prosperous, and peaceful people 1 



RIGHT REVEREND BROTHER : With the exhibition of the infidel prin- 
ciples, the sanguinary plan of abolitionism, and the frank desire to 
disunite the States, which were so plainly professed by Mr. Theodore 
Parker, (a great leader in this dangerous school,) I shall close my 
extracts, saving only the matters which the reader will find in the 
Appendix. And I think it will be admitted that I have amply re- 
deemed my promise in the answer to your Protest. The doctrines 
laid down in the Bible View of Slavery have been sustained by 
abundant testimony, and nothing more remains but to bring my 
work to its conclusion. 

To this end, I would recall to your memory the precept delivered 
by St Paul to Timothy, the Bishop of Ephesus : " Rebuke not an 
elder, but intreat him as a father." (1 Tim. 5 : 1.) 

I am your elder, in years, and especially in office. You have not 
merely rebuked, but much more, denounced me, without warning, 
examination, or the slightest effort to practice the ordinary rules of 
justice, and far less of Christian courtesy. And your denunciation 
accuses me of a grave offense against the laws, amounting to mis* 
prision of treason, although, for this preposterous charge, you had 
not a shadow of proof, or even of probable presumption. This false 
and insulting accusation, moreover, you induced your clergy to in- 
dorse, and proclaimed it in handbills, far and wide, to be used in 
your political election. And all for what ? Simply because, at the 
request of some of your own gentlemen in Philadelphia, nearly five 
months before, I sent them a pamphlet containing my opinions on 
the lawfulness of slavery, which I had published substantially several 
times within the last thirteen years. And this pamphlet I gave them 
my consent to have reprinted at their expense, and made no objec- 
tion, two months afterwards, to have it circulated by the Democratic 
party. And this is the whole of my course, which you denounce in 
your protest as " unworthy of any servant of Jesus Christ," and chal- 
lenging your "indignant reprobation." 


The spirit and the action which become me, under this extraordi- 
nary provocation, are marked out by another precept of the Apostle : 
" We command you, brethren," saith he, " in the name of our Lord 
Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that 
walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of 
us, and have no company with him. Yet count him not as an enemy, 
but admonish him as a brother." (2 Thes. 3 : 6, 14-5.) 

I might, with perfect propriety, according to the rules of worldly 
justice, prosecute you and your clergy, for a gross and scandalous 
libel. I might also take measures to have you presented before a 
court of Bishops for your transgression ; which I consider to be of a 
far more dangerous character to the law and order of the Church, 
than any of the charges brought in former years before that tribunal. 
But I have no desire to trouble our brethren or myself with any hos- 
tile proceeding. As a lover of peace, I take the mildest possible 
view of your conduct, by calling it " disorderly," and not "after the 
tradition " or rule of the Apostle. And therefore, in obedience to 
his command, I withdraw myself from your company, not counting 
you as an enemy, but admonishing you as a brother. * 

For you are still my brother in Christ, notwithstanding you are so 
thoroughly alienated by your course of public and libelous denuncia- 
tion, that I can not look forward to any future association with you 
on earth, however I may hope to meet you in His heavenly kingdom. 
But this is of small importance. The time of my sojourn in this 
troublesome world is not likely to be very long ; and, since it must 
be so, I can finish my humble course in the Church below, without 
any renewal of my former fraternal intercourse with the Diocesan of 

With this brief statement of the matter, I proceed, in obedience to 
the precept of St. Paul, to complete my unwelcome duty, trusting 
that it may be useful to others, if not to you. 

1. In the first place, I admonish you to remember your ORDINATION 
vows, which are registered in heaven. When you were ordained a 
priest, you were asked : " Will you give your faithful diligence al- 
ways so to minister the doctrine and sacraments and the discipline 
of Christ, as the Lord hath commanded and as this Church hath 
received the same ?" And you answered : " I will so do, by the help 
of God." 

Again you were asked : " Will you be ready, with all faithful dili- 


gence, to banish and drive away from the Church all erroneous and 
strange doctrines contrary to God's Word ?" And you answered: 
" I will, the Lord being my helper." The same question and answer 
were repeated, when you were consecrated a bishop. 

Now I maintain that it is utterly impossible to tolerate the dogmas 
of ultra-abolitionism, or to bring them into the sanctuary of God, or 
to recommend them to His people, without a direct infraction of these 
vows of ordination. For the Church never held that it was a sin 
to buy, or sell, or hold a slave ; much less that it was the worst of all 
sins, and " the sum of all villainies." On the contrary, she has ever 
repudiated it as false doctrine. She has even placed slaveholders, as 
bishops, in her highest seats of honor ; and up to the commencement of 
this mournful conflict, you professed as much esteem for the piety 
and Christian consistency of those bishops, as any man. 

But I would further observe, that between these two doctrines 
there can be no middle ground of compromise. Slaveholding is either 
a sin, or it is not. If it is a sin, the Northern Methodists were right 
in excommunicating their Southern brethren ; for it is manifestly for- 
bidden to administer the sacrament to any one who is living openly 
in sin, and refuses to forsake it. If it is not a sin, these Northern 
Methodists were wrong, and stand chargeable themselves with the 
sin of schism, by casting off their brethren without any justification. 

And here, in truth, was the fatal act which lighted up the torch of 
religious discord amongst the Christian societies of the land, and thus 
furnished material to the politicians, who brought about, in due time, 
the civil war now raging through our unhappy country. The ultra- 
abolitionists, who had previously been regarded as a small body of 
absurd and deluded enthusiasts, suddenly rose to dignity and im- 
portance, under the powerful wing of Northern Methodism. The 
pulpits of the various denominations began to ring with the sin of 
slaveholding, the wrongs of the poor Africans, and the barbarities of 
the tyrants who held them in bondage. The excitement spread from 
sect to sect, with a few individual exceptions, until at length our 
Church was the only ark of refuge among Protestants for the old 
faith of the Bible, where the Word of Christ and the doctrine of His 
inspired Apostles could be heard, unpolluted by the eloquent ravings 
of a very sincere but utterly mistaken philanthropy. The novel- 
writers, the magazines, and the editors, all echoed the new cry of 
the equal rights of man, and the infidel reformer, the ambitious 


statesman, and the intriguing demagogue worked in loving unity with 
the fervent an i earnest preachers, whofiad unhappily been persuaded 
to change the Gospel of peace into the trumpet-blast of war and con- 

But has this mournful work of philanthropy, run mad, discharged 
you from your vows of ordination ? Not so, my Right Reverend 
Brother ; for you are still bound as much as ever to maintain " the 
doctrine and discipline of Christ as the Lord hath commanded and 
as this Church hath received the same." I can not conceive that the 
false light which has deluded the Christian sects should have any 
influence on you ; and therefore it is that I admonish you to remem- 
ber your solemn obligation. 

2. In the next place, I admonish you to ponder seriously the divine 
authority of the HOLY SCRIPTURES on this subject. I contend that 
every Christian man must adhere to the language of the Bible, in 
speaking of slavery. He may desire and promote its peaceable abo- 
lition, on the score of expediency, if he will ; but he can never justify 
its abolition ~by force, on the ground that it is a sin to hold a slave, 
without a direct conflict with the plain teaching of both the Old and 
the New Testament. Such a course would be at war with the faith 
even of a private Christian. How much more must it be inconsistent 
with your office, as a bishop over the flock of the Redeemer ! 

3. In the third place, I admonish you to remember the reverence 
which you owe to the VOICE OF THE CHURCH. You repeat the ancient 
creed every Sunday, in which you profess your belief in the holy 
catholic Church, meaning thereby the universal Church of Christ, 
in the first pure centuries of the Christian era, before it was divided ; 
and taking for your guide the rule of St Vincent, Quod semper, quod 
ubique, quod db omnibus what was believed "always, everywhere, 
and by all " as the only sure standard of Scriptural interpretation. 
I have proved, by many indisputable witnesses, that this rule recog- 
nized the lawfulness of slavery, as it existed in the old Roman empire. 
And I have also proved that, up to the period of the English Act of 
Emancipation, there was no* variance on the subject in any part of 
the Christian world. Hence, if there could be a doubt concerning 
the meaning of the Bible, the voice of the Holy Catholic Church must 
be decisive on the question. And against that authority no Bishop 
is at liberty to rebel. 

4. In the fourth place, I admonish you to remember your ALLE- 



naturalized foreigner is sworn to support, as well as every officer in 
the Government. The same allegiance, as you must be aware, de- 
volves on every native citizen by virtue of his birth ; and therefore 
you are bound as fully as if you had taken the oath, and to an equal 
extent, precisely. This, however, is not only a civil, but also a reli- 
gious obligation ; because the Constitution is the " supreme law of 
the land," and the Saviour commands us to "render unto Caesar the 
things that be Caesar's," and the Apostle lays down the precept : 
"Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers." By the terms 
of this Constitution, slavery is made lawful. And therefore I do not 
see how you can deny its lawfulness, without opposing the " supreme 
law of the land," which you are solemnly bound to support ; and 
thus becoming the patron of treason in sentiment, if not in action. 

5. In the fifth and last place, I admonish you not to rush again, 
through your zeal for political expediency, into a libelous assault on 
a brother bishop ; nor to bring your clergy into a false position, with- 
out at least some decent regard to the usual course of previous in- 
quiry and consultation. The mode in which you did this thing would 
be a disgrace to the lowest court of justice, in deciding upon the act 
of the most worthless individual. Even the self-appointed tribunal 
which is called " Lynch law " gives an opportunity to the culprit to 
make his defense before a jury, and imitates, to some extent, the order 
established in every civilized community. But your clergy were not 
summoned to meet together. Your intended victim was not notified. 
The false and defamatory sentence was drawn up by your own hand, 
and a committee of three were deputed to obtain the subscribers ; the 
object being to accomplish the work in the least possible time, in 
order that the placards containing your Protest might be posted at 
the corners of the streets before the day of election ! 

And yet your proceeding was nothing short of a public judgment, 
pronounced on a brother bishop, your senior in years and in office, 
who had labored at least as hard in the service of the Church, who 
had published more books in defense of %er principles than all your 
diocese together, and who had some little character to lose, and some 
few friends to be disgusted and amazed by the total want of justice 
and propriety, of feeling and courtesy, which marked the whole 
extraordinary transaction. 

As the party whom you have thus publicly defamed, I have justified 


my pamphlet by an appeal to the highest authority ; and I challenge 
yourself and your phalanx of " indignant reprobationists " to prove 
that I am in error, by any argument worthy of a consistent Christian 
or a loyul citizen. The position which I occupy is impregnable, for 
it is defended by the Word of God, the voice of the Church, and the 
Constitution of the country. Your zealous adherents may continue 
to assail it, as some of them have already done, by invective, by 
abuse, and by misrepresentation. But like the waves which dash 
against the rock, such assaults will make no impression ; and even 
though their violence may be favored for a while by the strong wind 
of popular excitement, it will end in nothing more substantial than 
froth and foam. 

I conclude with a brief summary of the whole. To slavery under 
the domination of any human master, I am as much opposed as you 
or your clergy, by birth, education, and the habits of a long lifetime. 
I desire to see the Southern institution abolished as soon as it can 
be, peaceably, lawfully, and with a just regard to the best interests 
of all concerned. I have put forth my argument many years ago, in 
favor of such abolition, on the principles of Thomas Jefferson, of 
Rufus fcing, of President Harrison, and others ; being the constant 
advocate of a gradual emanci{Jation connected with the planting of 
the freedmen in Africa, after the model of Liberia. Hence, I contend 
that I have nev*r been in favor of the perpetual bondage of the negro 
race, and never have opposed their peaceable and gradual enfranchise- 
ment, and their future elevation to the highest development which 
they may be able to attain. To charge me with such sentiments is a 
sheer calumny, in the face of those publications which were issued 
and repeated years before the commencement of our present national 

But along with this I have maintained, and shall always maintain 
that the relation of the master to the slave in the Southern States 
involves no sin, provided the treatment of the slave be in accordance 
with the Scriptures ; because the slavery of the heathen races was 
sanctioned by the divine law in the Old Testament, and the system 
of Roman slavery was allowed to Christians by the apostles in the 
New Testament ; and it was regarded as a providential arrangement 
of society by the fathers, the councils, the theologians, and commen- 
tators in every branch of the Church for more than eighteen centuries ; 
so that there is no question on which the Holy Catholic Church was 


mere perfectly unanimous that by necessary consequence the mo- 
dern doctrine of ultra-abolitionists is an impious error, because it 
opposes the Bible and the Church that it is a dangerous error, be- 
cause it divides Christian communities into hostile sects, bitterly war- 
ring against each other that it is rebellious to the State as well as to 
the Church, because it tramples on the Constitution, calling it a 
"covenant with death and an agreement with hell," and has driven 
the old Union of the States into discord and strife, of which no man 
can foretell the issue that to the negro race, shivery in the hands of 
their Southern masters has been a blessing ; because it has been the 
means appointed in wisdom by divine Providence to redeem them from 
a far more bitter bondage in Africa, in the midst of savage barbarism 
and heathen degradation, to train them up to the civilization of the 
Gospel, to qualify a portion of them to plant the State of Liberia, and 
to enrol five hundred thousand communicants amongst the professed 
Christians of the South that if there had been no such arrangement 
opened to them through the Southern institution, all these, with other 
millions of their ancestors, must have lived and died in African bond- 
age and in the darkest paganism that the same Providence which has 
thus far produced so vast a benefit to a portion of the negro race, will 
doubtless incline the masters to th6ir ultimate emancipation on a 
much larger scale, when the Almighty sees that the proper time has 
come, if His designs are not rashly opposed by humanpresumption 
that, meanwhile, the Church has no right to interfere with the in- 
stitution, warranted as it is not only by the " supreme law of the 
land," laid down in the Constitution, but by the word of God and the 
unanimous judgment of Christendom that we have no reason to 
question the assurances of the Southern clergy, concerning the justice 
and kindliness of the treatment which the slaves receive, as the gen- 
eral rule, notwithstanding occasional exceptions, nor to doubt that 
the Christians of the South are quite as sensible of their responsibility, ' 
and as indulgent and humane as we are that the ultimate result will 
be the preparation, in due time, of a vast host of missionary laborers, 
able, by their physical peculiarities, to enjoy the climate of Africa, 
which few of the white race can endure : and that these will multiply 
the influence of .Liberia a thousand fold, regenerate, by the light of 
Christian truth, the whole of that barbarous and benighted continent, 
and open a rich field of civilization to the commerce of the world. 
Such, my Right Reverend Brother, is the view which I have taken. 


on this most important and deeply interesting subject. Thus be- 
lieving, I claiLn the right of every American freeman to proclaim iny 
belief, and utterly deny the justice or propriety of your denunciation 
for the main tenance of sentiments which have been held substantially 
by the best and most devoted men in all preceding ages. But while 
I have plainly expressed my sense of the grievous wrong which you 
and your clergy have committed, both in the fact and in the style of 
your false and libelous Protest, yet I should be blameworthy if I 
omitted to mention the Christian and manly course of those who re- 
fused to set their names to that most unwarrantable document. I 
thank God that there were more than sixty of your clergy who had 
the honesty and courage to resist the pressure of the popular political 
current, though it carried you and so many others away. I thank 
God that two of those who were induced to sign had afterwards the 
magnanimity to withdraw their names, from motives of honor and of 
conscience. And I doubt not that all of these just and independent 
men, who had the firmness to withstand the force so strongly used 
to warp their true Church principles, will be rewarded, not only by 
their consciousness of religious duty, but by the increased respect of 
all candid minds, when the excitement of strife and passion shall 
have cooled down, and given place, once more, to the counsels of 
sober sense and reason. 

With respect to yourself and those who acted with you, although 
I am compelled, in obedience to the Apostolic precept, to withdraw 
from your fellowship and to admonish you, yet I wish you to re- 
member that I do so without any personal feelings of resentment. I 
know how to make all charitable allowance for the delusions pro- 
duced by the warmth of political zeal ; and I regard your course 
with the indulgence due to the extravagance of good men, who are 
for a time demented. I have lived too long and experienced too 
much, to be ignorant of the devices of our spiritual adversary, who 
understands so well how to appear as an angel of light. Were not 
the most pious ministers in New-England carried away into acts of 
horrid injustice during the times of the Salem witchcraft ? Did they 
not banish the zealous Roger Williams into the wilderness, in the 
depth of a severe Northern winter, only because he had become a 
Baptist ? Did they not publicly whip his followers at the cart's tail 
from village to village, and hang the Quakers, for the glory of God 
It was the accepted notion of those good old Puritans, that tolera- 


tion of religious errors was the doctrine of the devil ; and in all 
these acts, and hundreds of the same character, they were perfectly 
conscientious, though perfectly deluded. Nay, we have a still more 
awful instance of the adversary's power, when we remember that 
even the great Apostle Peter was led, by the temptation of Satan, to 
deny his Divine Lord and Master ! And what a trifling case of de- 
lusion does your Protest against the poor Bishop of Vermont pre- 
sent in comparison with examples like these 1 

True indeed, it is, that persecution for religious opinions has long 
ceased to trouble the peace of society. It is not religion, but politics, 
which now excites the passions of men ; and our subtle enemy adapts 
himself adroitly to the change of circumstances, wearing the robe of 
Christian philanthropy to give him influence with pious minds, but 
relying on political zeal to stir them up to action. That is the reason 
why my publications against the heresy of ultra-abolitionism attracted 
no notice from you or your clergy, until the Democratic party thought 
fit to use them in your election. Then, the doctrines which were pre- 
viously suffered to pass without the slightest sign of disapproval 
started forth to your excited minds under a new aspect, as if they 
were the very utterances of treason. Then, the ecclesiastical thunder 
began to roll in the Vatican of Pennsylvania. And then, the light- 
ning flash of your redoubtable Protest, was launched at my devoted 
head without delay, under" the powerful excitement of political expe- 
diency ! 

So be it, while it pleases God to suffer this popular frenzy to pre- 
vail. I have no difficulty in forgiving the act, as a small example of 
the delusions to which the best men are liable, and which, sooner or 
later, are certain to pass away. Meanwhile, it has no effect on my 
old partiality for the Diocese and State of Pennsylvania. I can not 
forget that Philadelphia was the principal scene of my education ; and 
the memories of those youthful years are all associated with persons 
and with places on which I look back with peculiar affection. Pitts- 
burgh and its vicinity were the witnesses of my early manhood. It 
was there my married life began. There, my elder children were born. 
There, I passed through the struggles which prepared me for success 
in the practice of the law. There, I entered into the ministry, and 
became the architect and first rector of the present Trinity Church 
the mother of so many of your western parishes. There, I passed 
eight vears of prosperous labor, under the wise and indulgent gov- 


eminent of the venerable Bishop White ; when as yet there was no 
ultra-abolitionism to raise its voice against the Word of God, and the 
Constitution of our country. And although I was then induced to 
accept a call to Boston, and soon afterwards was elected as the Bishop 
of Vermont, yet I still looked on Pittsburgh and Philadelphia with 
special attachment, as the residence of many personal friends, who 
esteemed me for my work, and whom I regarded with cordiality and 
confidence. During the thirty years which have since elapsed, I 
have paid numerous visits to your Diocese ; some in its service, and 
more in the service of the Church Institutions belonging to my own. 
And the warm hospitality, the generous liberality, and the kindly 
greetings which marked those visits, have left a grateful impression 
on my heart, too deep and strong for a hundred protests to obliterate. 
Your action, of necessity, destroys my former intercourse. But the 
old feeling remains unchanged. And I am as constant as ever in my 
prayer that the blessing of God may rest, in rich abundance, on the 
clergy and laity of Pennsylvania ! 

And here, my Right Reverend Brother, I close my unwelcome labor. 
Frankly and unreservedly, but I trust not unkindly, I have set forth 
" the truth wherein I stand." It is the same truth which was held 
from the beginning, founded on the absolute Will of the Almighty 
and all-wise Creator, taught by Moses and the prophets, sanctioned 
by the inspired Apostles, and maintained by the Holy Catholic Church 
throughout the world, even to our own day. It is none the less true, 
because, in many portions of the land, it has become distasteful. 
And, therefore, being mj^self the " bond-servant of Christ," our divine 
Redeemer, I can not be diverted from my obligations to contend, un- 
der his banner, for the authority of His Word, for the judgment of 
His Church, and, in harmony with these, for the allegiance which I 
owe to the Constitution of my country. Relying on His strength, 
which is "made perfect in weakness," I hope to persevere in the 
fearless and honest performance of my duty, whether popular or un- 
popular, whether " in honor or in dishonor," looking for no human 
praise, and dreading no human censure, but depending, with all hu- 
mility, yet with all confidence, on Him who is- "the way, the truth, 
and the life," whose Word is the only standard of right, and whose 
power alone can secure the final victory. 


NOTE 1. 
The proper meaning of the Hebrew word ^y being sometimes denied, I 

have made the following extracts from Bagster's Polyglot, showing the true 
sense of the Hebrew, as it was given by the Jews themselves, in the Septua- 
gint version of the Fourth Commandment, to which I have added the Vul- 
gate and others. 

Thy man-servant and thy maid-servant. (Ex. 20 : 10.) 

6 TraZf oov itai i) TraidcaKij aov, Septuaaint. 

Servus tuus et ancilla tua, Latin Vulgate. 

dein knecht, noch deine magd, German. 

ton serviteur ni ta servante, French. 

tuo servo, ne la tua serva, Italian. 

ni tu siervo, ni tu sierva, Spanish. 

Now the word used here by the old Jews of Alexandria, viz., ?ra?f, signi- 
fies a child, a eon, a daughter, a young MALE or FEMALE SLAVE. See Donne- 
gan's Greek and English Lexicon, and also Liddell and Scott, edited by Pro- 
fessor Drisler. 

The appropriate signification, therefore, must be that of bondman and 
bondmaid, or male and female slaves ; because the son and the daughter were 
already mentioned just before. And this is, accordingly, the meaning given 
in the Latin, Italian, and Spanish versions. 

The Tenth Commandment has the same words as the Fourth, both in the 
original Hebrew, and in all the versions. Thus we have slave or bondman 
in the Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Spanish, and Italian, and servant in the Ger- 
man, French, and English versions. 

Levit. 25 : 44. Both thy bondmen and thy bondmaids which thou shalt 
have, shall be of the heathen, etc. 

Here the Hebrew has the same words as in the Fourth and Tenth Com- 
mandments, j-jfcai -jS2J. 

Tb.e Septuagint has the same, vale Kal 


The Latin has the same, servus et ancilla. 

The German has the same, knecht und magd. 

The French has esclave et servante. 

The Italian has the same, servo ed alia tua serva. 

The Spanish has the same, siervo y sierva. 

The true meaning is given in this text, by all the versions save the Ger- 
man, which uses the doubtful word knecht, as before. 

To these I shall add the following, from Robinson's Gesenius : " IJW 
a servant, who among the Hebrews was also a slave." 

" In addressing superiors, the Hebrews, from modesty or humility were ac- 
customed to call themselves servants, and those whom they addressed, lords." 

And this extract from Robinson's edition of Calmet's Dictionary of the 
Holy Bible agrees with all the rest, viz. : " Servant. This word, in Scrip- 
ture, generally signifies a slave, because, among the Hebrews and the neigh- 
boring nations, the greater part of the servants were such, belonging abso- 
lutely to their masters, who had a right to dispose of their persons, and in 
some cases, even of their lives." 

" Slavery, compulsory servitude. To punish the indignity received from 
his son Ham, Noah foretold the slavery of his descendants. Gen. 9 : 25." 

" Moses notices two or three sorts of slaves among the Hebrews ; who had 
foreign slaves, obtained by capture, by purchase, or born in the house. Over 
these, masters had entire authority ; they might sell them, exchange them, 
punish them, judge them, and even put them to death without public process. 
In which the Hebrews followed the rules common to other nations." 

The meaning of douAoj-, in the New Testament, is hardly susceptible of a 
cavil. It signifies a slave, according to Donnegan, to Liddell and Scott, 
edited by Professor Drisler, to Parkhurst, and, in a word, to all the authori- 
ties. Of course, examples may be found in which both these words are ap- 
plied in another sense than that of strict bodily servitude for life. Thus, 
no word is better understood than our English term slave, yet we use it con- 
stantly in a larger sense, as when we say, a slave to lust, a slave to drink, a 
slave to fashion, a slave to popularity. So, too, we say of an overtasked 
wife: "She is a perfect slave to her husband." But this license does not 
interfere with the proper meaning of the term, which is as firmly fixed as 
language can be. 

On the meaning of the Latin word servus, which is invariably applied in 
the sense of slave, there is and can be no dispute whatever. 

NOTE 2. 

From the foregoing examples it will appear manifest that the proper 
meaning of the Hebrew Ebed, and the Greek doulos, and the Latin servu*, 


is a bond-servant or slave. The hired servant is expressed in all these 
languages by a different word sakir in the Hebrew, misthotos or ntis- 
thophoros in the Greek, and mercenarius in the Latin. Our translators 
have not been precise in our English Bible. In some places they have trans- 
lated the very same word by bond-servant, and in a far greater number they 
have employed the general term servant, while, in almost all, they have 
avoided the word slave, doubtless because slavery had died out in England 
before the reign of James I., when their translation was published, and they 
wished to secure the advantage of the precepts in the Scriptures for the re- 
lation of master and servant, in the form which was customary at the time. 
The Southern slaveholders and their slaves continue the same practice of 
avoiding the word slave. The milder word, servant, is the only one in com- 
mon use among them. But if our English Bible had been translated with a 
view to the present question, which had not then been contemplated in its 
moral and religious aspect, the authority of the Scriptures would have ap- 
peared, as it really is, perfectly free from any ambiguity, 

De Jure personarum. 

Summa itaque divisio de jure personarum haec est : quod omnes homines 
aut liberi sunt aut servi. Et libertas quidem (ex qua etiam liberi vocantur) 
est naturalis facultas ejus, quod cuique facere libet, nisi si quid vi aut jure 
prohibetur. Servitus autem est constitutio juris gentium, qua quis dominio 
alieno contra naturam subjicitur. 

Servi autem ex eo appellati sunt, quod Imperatores captives, vendere ac 
per hoc servare, nee occidere solent : qui etiam mancipia dicti sunt, quod ab 
hostibus manu capiuntur. 

Servi autem aut nascuntur, aut fiunt : nascuntur ex ancillis nostris : fiunt 
aut jure gentium, id est, ex captivitate, aut jure civili, cum liber homo major 
xx annis ad pretium participandum sese venundari passus est. In servorum 
conditione nulla est differentia: in liberis autem multae: aut enim sunt in- 
genui, aut libertini. Inst. Justin. L. 1. Tit. III. Corpus Juris Civilis. 
Ed. Amstel. 1663. Tom. 1, p. 4. 

NOTE 4. 

Libertini sunt, qui ex justa servitute manumissi sunt. Manumissio autem 
est de manu datio, nam quamdiu aliquis in servitute est, manui et potestati 
suppositus est: manumissus, liberatur potestate. Quse res a jure gentium 
originem sumpsit : utpote cum jure naturali omnes liberi nascerentur, neo 
esset nota manumissio, cum servitus esset incognita. Sed postquam jure 
gentium servitus invasit, sequutum est beneficium manumissionis : et cum 
uno communi nomine omnes homines appellarentur, jure gentium tria 


hominum genera esse coeperunt : liberi, et his contrarium servi, et tertium 
genus libertini, qui desierant esse servi. Multis autem modis manumissio 
procedife : aut enim ex sacris constitutionibus in sacrosanctis Ecclesiis, .aut 
vindicta manumittitur, aut inter amicos, aut per epistolam, aut per testa- 
mentum, aut per aliam quamlibet ultimam voluntatem. Inst. Justin. Corp. 
Juris Civilis, Tom 1, p. 4. 

NOTE 5. 

Sequitur de jure personarum alia divisio. Nam quaedam personae sui 
juris sunt, quaedam alieno jure subject. Rursus earum, quae alieno juri 
subject sunt, aliae sunt in potestate parentum, alias in potestate domino- 
rum. In potestate itaque dominorum sunt servi, quae quidem potestas, 
juris gentium est. Nam apud omnes peraeque gentes animadvertere possu- 
mus, dominis in servos vitae necisque potestatem fuisse : et quodcumque per 
servum adquiritur, id domino adquiri. 

Sed hoc tempore nullis hominibus, qui sub imperio nostro sunt, licet sine 
causa legibus cognita, in servos suos supra modum saevire. Nam ex con- 
stitutione divi Antonini, qui sine causa servum suum occiderit, non minus 
puniri jubetur, quam si alienum servum occiderit. Sed et major asperitas 
dominorum ejusdem principis constitutione coercetur: nam Antoninus 
consultus a quibusdam praesidibus provinciarum de his servis, qui ad aedem 
sacram, vel ad statuam principum confugiunt, praecipit, ut si intolerabilis 
videatur saevitia dominorum, cogantur servos suos bonis conditionibus ven- 
dere, ut pretium dominis daretur : et recte : expedit enim reipublicae, ne 
sua re quis male utatur. Corpus Civilis, (Inst. Justin.) Tom. 1., p. 5. 

NOTE 6. 

17. Item ea quae ex hostibus capimus, jure gentium statim nostra fiunt : 
ade6 quidem, ut et liberi homines in servitutem nostram deducantur, qui 
tamen, si evaserint nostram potentiam, et ad suos reversi fuerint, primum 
statum recipiunt. 'Corpus Civilis, (Instil. Justin.) Tom. 1, p. 10. 

NOTE 7. 

Tit. iv. De injuriis. 

3. Servis autem ipsis quidem nulla injuria fieri intelligitur, sed domino 
per eos fieri videtur : non tamen iisdem modis quibus etiam per liberos et 
uxores : sed ita, cum quid atrocius commissum fuerit, et quod aperte ad 
contumeliam domini respicit : veluti si quis alienum servum atrociter verb- 
eraverit : et in hunc casum actio proponitur. At si quis servo convicium 
fecerit, vel pugno eum percusserit : nulla in eum actio domino competit. 
Corpus Civilis, (Institut. Justin.) Tom. 1, p. 32. 

NOTE 8. 
Servos sane sociari clericorum consortiis, volentibus atque consentientibus 


dominis, modis omnibus prohibemus : cum liceat eorum dominis, data prius 
servis libertate, licitum cia ad suscipiendos honores clericorum iter (si hoc 
voluerint) aperire. Corpus Juris Civilis, (Codex, Justin.} Tom. 11, p. 16. 

NOTE 9. 

Si servus, sciente domino, et non contradicente, in clericum ordinatus 
fuerit ab Episcopo : ex hoc ipso, quod coiistitutus est, liber et ingenuus erit. 
Si vero, ignorante domino, ordinatus fuerit ; liceat domino, intra anni unius 
gpatium, et servilem fortunam probare, et servum suum accipere. Si vero 
servus, sciente vel nesciente domino (sicut diximus) ideo quod in clero 
constitute, liber est factus, ministerium ecclesiasticum reliquerit, et ad 
secularem vi tarn transient ; BUO domino ad serviendum tradatur. Corpus 
Juris Civilis, (Codex Justin.') Tom. 11, p. 16. 

NOTE 10. 

Quoniam igitur de servis fugitivis ad vitam monasticam devenientibus, 
statutum a superioribus est, ut si intra tres annos fugitivus manifestos fiat, 
ilium habitu nudatum recipiendi facultatem dominus habeat : si vero 
usque in tertium annum incognitus manserit, tametsi postmodum agnosca- 
tur, ut domini-potestati non obnoxius sit, praeterque illius voluntatem liber 
nuncupetur : et vero inde multos fugiendi dominos suos occasionem cepisse, 
ac re honesta monastic vitae professione, ad tegendam malitiam pbuti 
videmus, (cuilibet enim servo perfacile est, ut ad triennium se occultet, 
deindeque libertatem consequatur,) jubemus, ut quantocunque tempore 
servus tali consilio monachus factus delituerit, si ipsum aliquando dominus 
inveniat, nihilominus is quern malo proposito habitum sumpsit, hoc exuatur, 
rursumque in domini potestatem subigatur. Corpus Juris Civilis, (Imp. 
Leonis Constit. X.) Tom. 11, p. 242,jt>ar* 2. 

NOTE 11. 

De illis servis quibus nesciente domino ad primarii sacerdotii honores 
conscendere visum est, statuimus : ut videlicet secundum ecclesiastic 
constitutionis voluntatem exauthorati, honore in quern clam irrepserint, 
priventur, et ad suum servilemque statum revocantur. Imp. Leonis Const. 
XL Corpus Juris Civilis. Tom. 11, pars 2, p. 242. 

NOTE 12. 

Testimonium cum magni momenti, necessariaque ad tuenda communis 
vitae negotia res sit, non a quibuslibet, sed ab iis qui extra ignominiam vi- 
vunt, ferri aequum est. Recte ergo exquisita ratione de hoc disceptant 
leges, et non simpliciter ad dicendum testimonium cuique aditum praebent. 
Verumtamen, quia nonnullae leges servilis conditionis hominibus in quibus- 
dam rebus testari concesserunt ; visum nobis est, hoc nota inducendum 


esse, ut qui liberse vitae participes non sunt, in universum ad testendum non 
admittantur, lexque Novellarum Constitutionum obtineat, et de quocunque 
simpliciter testimonio statuat, idque in quacunque re, sive testamenta, sive 
aliam humanae vitae actionem testimonium complectatur. Si enim illis qui 
cum liberae vitae sint, vitam ingenue, eaque libertate quam nacti sunt digne 
non degunt, neque quantum fieri potest animi magnitudinem a servitute 
liberam conservant, sed in illicitarum actionum servitutem subiguntur, tes- 
timonium dicere non licet : neque his quorum vitam non esse liberam 
coustat, ferre testimonium concedetur. Nam tametsi alius hie servitutis 
modus sit, attamen ea servitus est, quam libertatis dignitate participem esse 
indignum sit. Imper. Leonis Constit. XLIX. Corpus Juris Civilis, Tom. 
11, pars 2, p. 257. 

NOTE 13. 

Si quis ita demens sit, ut libertatem servitute commutans seipsum ven- 
dafc, ne is contractus validus sit, sed evertatur, et simul ipse libertatis suaa 
proditor, simul is qui cum ipso id facinus designavit, verberibus castigen- 
tur, nihiloque minus vesaniae mancipio libertas in pristine suo statu ser- 
vetur. Imp. Leonis Constit. LIX. Corpus Juris Civilis. Tom. 11, pars 
2, p. 260. 

The reasons assigned for this imperial change in the civil law make no 
allusion whatever to religion. 

NOTE 14. 

Servitus quaedam animi, quaedam corporis dicitur ; corporibus dominantur 
homines, animis affectus et vitia. Phil. Jud. p. 867. 

NOTE 15. 

At lex divina regulas juris non fortunae sed naturae accommodat. Ideo 
decet dominos non abuti sua potestate contra famulos, cavereque ab inso- 
lencia, contemptu atque saevitia. Nam ista non sunt indicia placidi animi, 
sed impotentiae tyrannicae, exercentis licentiam pro arbitrio. Phil. Jud. 
Liber de Special. Leg. p. 798. 

NOTE 16. 

Quid enim injustius, quid iniquius, et improbrius, quam ita alieno bene- 
facere servo, ut domino eripiatur, ut alii vindicetur, ut adversus caput do- 
mini subornetur, et quidem, quo indignius, in ipsa adhuc domo domini, de 
ipsius adhuc horreis vivens, sub ipsius adhuc plagis tremens ? Talis adser- 
tor etiam damnaretur in seculo, nedum plagiator. Tertul. adv. Marcion. 
Lib. 1, XXIII. p. 377, 0. 

NOTE 17. 

Quicunque sunt sub jugo servi Dominos suos omni Jwnore dignos arbi- 
trentur. Non solum bonos, sed etiam infideles. Ne videantur per religionem 


in deterius profecisse. Ne sibi aequalem contcmnant. Si serviebant infidel' 
ibus timore odioso, quanto magis debent servire fidelibus quorum charitatis 
participes esse merentur. ffieron. Op. T. IX. p. 314. 

NOTE 18. 

Christianas religion! conditio non potest obesae servilis, ne dicas ergo, quo 
modo Deo possum placere, qui servua sum ? Deus enim non conditionem 
aspicit, sed voluntatem quaerit et mentera. Usque adeo non prodest libertas, 
nee servitus nocet Qui hominis servus est, liber est Deo, et qui hominibus 
liber est, servus est Christi. Ambo ergo unum sunt. Op. Hieron. Tom. IX. 
p. 249. 

NOTK 19. 

Providet sane hie Apostolus, ne doctrina Dei in aliquo blasphemetur, si 
credentes servi suis dominis inutiles fiaut. Et qui forte permissurus erat 
alios servos fieri Christianos, de ipsis jam factis incipiat poenitero. Si vero 
viderit eos hi melius profecisse, et ex infidelibus fideles effectos, non solum 
alios optabit credere famulos suos, sed etiam ipse fortasse salvabitur. 
Hieron. Op. T. IX. p. 294. 

NOTE 20. 

Sed hoc mundi iniquitate factum est, ut dum alter alterius fines invadit, 
tune captives ducit ingenues, unde et manu capti dicti sunt a veteribus, inde 
mancipia. Hie casus et conditio etiam nunc apparet, alii redimuntur, alii 
remanent servi. Apud Deum autem hie servus habetur, qui peccaverit. 
Denique peccati causa Cham servus audivit : Maledictus puer Chanaan, ser- 
vus servorum erit fratribus suis. S. Ambros. Supp. Comm. in Epist. ad 
Coloss. Tom. 2 Op. p. in app. 274. 

NOTE 21. 

Servorum obsequiis dominos Deo gratias vult referre, cum enim per Dei 
disciplinam fidelia illis exhibuerint servi tia, forte huic etiam ipsi se subjicient 
disciplinse. Si profanis dominis serviendum tota solicitudine imperat, quanto 
magis fidelibus ? Tune enim probat se timori Dei subjectum, si fideli et 
temporali domino toto animo fuerit obsequtuus. App. Op. 8. Ambros. 
Tom. 2, p. 302. Com. in 1 Tim. 6 : 1-2. 

NOTE 22. 

Tu (i. e. Ecclesia Catholica) dominis servos, non tarn conditionis necessi- 
tate, quam officii delectatione doces adhserere. Tu dominos servis, summi 
Dei communis Domini consideratione placabiles, et ad consulendum quam 
coerceudum propensiores facis. Augustini Op. Tom. I. p. 527, /. 

NOTE 23. 
Timet servus offendere dominum suum ne jubeat ilium verberari, jubeat 


in compedes mitti, jubeat carcere includi, jubeat eum pistrino contineri. 
Haec timens servus non peccat. Augustini Op. Tom. V. p. 542, D. 

NOTE 24. 

Servum autem hominem homini, vel iniquitas vel adversitas fecit ; iniquitas 
quidem, sicut dictum est : Maledictus Chanaan, erit servus fratribus suis : 
adversitas vero, sicut accedit ipsi Joseph, ufe venditus a fratribus servus alieni- 
genae fieret. Itaque primos servos, quibus hoc nomen in Latina lingua iu- 
ditum est, bella fecerunt. Qui enim homo ab homine superatus jure belli 
possit occidi, quia servatus est, servus est appellatus ; inde et mancipia, quia 
manu capta sunt. Est etiam ordo naturalis in hominibus, ut serviant feminaB 
viris, et filii parentibus : quia et illic haec justitia est, ut infirmior ratio ser- 
Tiat fortiori. Haec igitur in dominationibus et servitutibus clara justitia est, 
ut qui excellunt ratione, excellant dominatione. Aug. Op. Tom. III. 
p. 311, C. 

NOTE 25. 

Quae de servo Hebraeo proecipiuntur, ut sex annos serviat, et dimittatur liber 
gratis, ne servi Christian! hoc flagitarent a dominis suis, Apostolica auctoritas 
jubet servos dominis suis esse subditos, ne nomen Dei et doctrina blasphem- 
etur. Illud enim ex hoc satis constat in mysterio praeceptum, quia et per- 
tundi subula ejus aurem ad postern, praecipit Deus, qui libertatem illaru 
recusasset. Aug. Op. Tom. III. p. 333, E. 

NOTE 26. 

Prima et quotodiana potestas hominis in hominem domini est in servum. 
Prope omnes domus habent hujusmodi potestatem. Sunt domini, sunt et 
servi, diversa sunt nomina ; sed homines et homines paria sunt nomiiia. Et 
quid dicit Apostolus, docens servos dominis suis subditos esse ? Servi ob- 
audite dominis vestris secundum carnem : quia est Dommus secundum Spiri- 
tum. Ille est verus Dommus et aeternus, illi autem temporales secundum 
tempus. Tu cum ambulas in via, cum vivis in hac vita, non vult te facere 
superbum Christus. Contigit tibi ut Christianus efficeris, et haberes dominum 
hominem ; non ideo Christianus effectus es, ut dedigneris servire. Cum 
enim Christo jubente servis homini, non illi servis, sed illi qui jussit. Et hoc 
ait, Obaudite dominis vestris secundum carnem, cum timore et tremore, in 
simplicitate cordis, non ad oculum servientes, quasi hominibus placentes, sed 
quasi servi Christi, facientes voluntatem Dei ex animo, cum bona voluntate. 
Ecce non fecit de servis liberos, sed de malis servis bonos servos. Quantum 
debent divites Christo, qui illis componit domum ? August. Op. JEnar. in 
Ps. 124, Tom. IV. Pars Prima, p. 1059, C. 

NOTE 27. 

Porro quicumque servi sub jugo detenti, ad fratrum conventum confugiunt, 


admoniti et meliores effect!, ad dominos suos remittendi sunt : in quo imitan- 
dus est beatus Paulus, qui, cum genuiset Onesimum per evangelium, eum ad 
Philemonem remisit. 8. Basil. Op. T. 2, p. 353, D. et T. 3, p. 479, A. B. 

NOTE 28. 
Regula LXXV. 

QuSd oportet servos, cum omni'benevolentia ad Dei gloriam suis secundum 
carnem dominis obedire, in iis certe, in quibus mandatum Dei non solvitur. 

Caput 1. 

Servi obedite dominis carnalibus cum timore et tremore in simplicitate 
cordis vestri, sicut Christo : non ad oculum servientes, quasi homini placentes, 
sed ut servi Christi, facientes voluntatem Dei ex animo, cum benevolentia 
servientes, sicut Domino, et non hominibus : scientes quoniam unusquisque 
quodcumque fecerit bonum, hoc repipiet a Domino, sive servus, sive liber. 
Quicumque sunt sub jugo servi, dominos suos omni honore dignos arbitrentur, 
ne nomen Dei et doctrina blasphemetur. Qui autem fideles habent dominos, 
non contemnant, quia fratres sunt, sed magis serviant, quia fideles sunt et 
dilecti, qui beneficii participes suut. Servos dominis suis subditos esse, in 
omnibus placentes, non contradicentes, non fraudentes, sed omnem fidem 
bonam ostendentes, ut doctrinam Salvatoris nostri Dei ornent in omnibus. 
8. Basil, Op. Om. T. II. p. 310. 

NOTE 29. 

Aut enim potentia oppressi, sub jugum servitutis inducti sunt, velut in bello 
capti, aut ob paupertatem in servitutem edacti sunt velut JEgypti Pharaoni, 
aut juxta sapientem quandam et arcanam dispensationem, qui inter filios de- 
teriores sunt, parentum voce, sapientioribus ac* melioribus in servitutem ad- 
dicti sunt, quam haudquaquam condemnationem, sed beneficium p'otius dix- 
erit sequus rerum eestimator. Nam qui ob sensus inopiam, non habet in sese 
id quod natura imperat, huic utilius est alterius fieri mancipium. S. Basil, 
Op. Om. T. III. p. 42-3. 

NOTE 30. 

Unusquisque in qua vocatione vocatus es, in ea permaneat. TJxorem ha- 
bens infidelem vocatus es, permane earn habens, ne propter fidem ejicias ux- 
orem. Servus cum esses, fuisti vocatus : ne sit tibi curse, permane serviens. 
Cum praeputium haberes es vocatus, permane habens praeputium. Credi- 
disti cum esses circumcisus, permane circumcisus. Quomodo nihil juvat cir- 
cumcisio, neque laedit praeputium, ita neque servitus neque libertas. Et ut 
ex abundantia hoc docerit evidentius, dicit : Sed si potes fieri liber, magis 
utere. Hoc est, magis servi. Et curnam eum qui potest liberari, jubet ma- 
nere servum ? Volens ostendere quod nihil laedit servitus, sed etiam prodest. 


Neque verd ignoremus, quod quidam illud, Magis utere, aiunt dictum esse de 
libertate, dicentes, Si potes liberari, liberare. Modo autem Pauli hoc verbum 
est valde contrarium, si hoc significat. Non enim consolans servum, osten. 
dendo eum nulla esse injuria affectum, jussisset eum fieri liberum. Diceret 
enim forte quispiam, Quid vero si non possum, affectus sum injuria et dam- 
num accepi. Non ergo hoc dicit, sed sicut dixi, volens ostendere quod nihil 
emolumenti ei obtingit qui factus est liber, dicit : Etiamsi sit in tua potestate 
ut manumittaris et liber fias, permane potius serviens. Deinde subjungit 
etiam causam. Qui enim in Domino vocatus est servus, libertus est Domini. 
Similiter qui liber vocatus est, servus est Christi. In iis enim quae sunt secun- 
dum Christum, ambo sunt pares. Quomodo ergo qui est servus, est libertus ? 
Quoniam se liberavit, non solum a peccato, sed etiam ab externa servitute, 
manentem servum. Et quomodo qui est serrus est liber, manens servus? 
Quando fuerit liberatus ab affectionibus et animi aegritudinibus. Quando 
despexerit pecunias, iramque et ejusmodi alias animi perturbationes. Pretio 
empti estis: nolite fieri servi hominum. Hoc dictum est non solum servis sed 
etiam liberis. Fieri enim potest ut et cum sit servus, non sit servus, et cum 
sit liber, sit servus. Et quomodo cum sit servus, non est servus ? Quando 
propter Deum omnia fecerit : quando non simularit neque fuerit hypocrita, 
nee aliquid agat ut serviat oculis hominum : hoc est hominibus servientem 
esse liberum. Aut quomodo rursus quispiam cum sit liber, fiat servus ? 
Quando hominibus aliquod malum obit ministerium, aut propter ingluviem, 
aut propter pecuniae cupiditatem, aut propter potentiam. Nam qui est ejus- 
modi, est omnibus servilior, etsi sit liber. Utraque autem haec considera. 
Servus erat Joseph : sed non servus hominum. Quamobrem etiam in servi- 
tute erat omnibus hominibus liberior. Dominse quidem certe non cessit in 
iis quae volebat quae ipsum possidebat. Kursus ilia erat libera, et omnibus 
erat servilior, ut quae servo assentaretur et eum rogaret et provocaret. Sed 
non persuasit libero ut faceret quod noluit. Non erat ergo res ilia servitus, 
sed summa libertas. Quid enim illi ad virtutem impedimento fuit servitus ? 
Audiant servi et liberi. Hoc quidem certe tacitS significat dicens, Nolite 
fieri servi hominum. Si autem non ita est, sed jussit dominos relinquere, et 
contendere ut fiant liberi, quomodo monebat dicens, Uhusquisque in eo 
manejit in quo vocatus est ? et alibi, quicumque sunt sub jugo servi, suos 
dominos omni honore dignos censeant. Ad Ephesios quoque scribens et 
Colossenses, eadem praecipit et statuit. Unde est perspicuum quod non 
tollit hanc servitutem, sed earn quae est a vitio, in qua sunt etiam liberi. 
& Chrysostom, in Ep. ad. Corin. c. vii. Horn. xix. Ed. Paris, 1636. T. v. 
p. 196-8. 

NOTE 31. 
Nomen et conditionem servitutis culpa genuit, non natura, et prima hujua 



Bubjectionis causa peccatum est ; quia sicut scriptum est. Omnis qui facit 
peccatum, servus est peccati. Unde melior ejus status est qui famulatur ho- 
mini, quam qui suae servit cupiditatL Prosper. Aquit. Op. Om. p. 666. 

NOTE 32. 

Scicndum est duo genera esse bonae servitutis : unum timoris, aliud dilec- 
tionis : unum timentium ancillorum et servorum, aliud diligentium et placen- 
tium filiorum, timet enim ancilla, ne flagelletur, timet matrona, ne offendat 
animum viri sui. 3. Greg. Mag. Op. T. III. Par. 2, p. 662. 

NOTE 33. 

"Admonitio VI. Aliter admonendi sunt servi, atque aliter domini. 
Servi, scilicet, ut in se semper humilitatem conditionis aspiciant: domini 
vero, ut naturae suae qua aequaliter sunt cum servis conditi, memoriam non 
amittant. Servi admonendi sunt ne dominos despiciant, ne Deum offendant 
si ordinationi illius superbiendo contradicunt : domini quoque admonendi 
sunt, quia contra Deum de munere ejus superbiunt, si eos quos per condi- 
tionem tenent subditos, aequales sibi per maturae consortium non agnoscant. 
Isti admonendi sunt ut sciant se servos esse dominorum ; illi admonendi 
sunt ut cognoscant se conserves esse servorum. Istis namque dicitur : servi, 
obedite dominis carnalibus. Et rursum : quicumque sunt sub jugo servi, 
dominos suos omni honore dignos arbitrentur : illis autem dicitur : et vos, 
domini, eadem facite illis, remittentes minas, scientes quod et illorum et 
vester Dominus est in crelis." 8. Greg. Mag. Op. Pastoralis Curce, Pars 
3, c. 1. 

NOTE 34. 
" Gregorius Felici Episcopo Portuensi. " 

" Charitatis vestrae gratia provocati, ne infructuosi vobis videamur existere, 
praecipue cum et minus vos habere servitia noverimus, ideo Johannem juris 
ecclesiastici famulum, natione Sabinum, ex mass& * Flaviana, annorum plus 
minus decem et octo, quern nostra voluntate jam diu possidetis, fraternitati 
vestrae jure directo donamus atque concedimus ; ita ut eum habeatis, possi- 
deatis, atque juri proprietatique vestrae vindicetis atque defendatis, et quid- 
quid de eo facere volueritis, quippe ut dominus, ex hujus donationis jure 
libero potiamini arbitrio. Contra quam munificentiae nostrae chartulam 
nunquam nos successoresque nostros noveris esse venturos. Hanc autem 
donationem a Notario nostro perscriptam legimus atque subscripsimus, tribu- 
entes etiam, non expectat& professione vestr&, quo volueritis tempore alli- 
gandi licentiam legitima stipulatione et sponsione interposita. Actum 
Romae." S. Greg. Mag. Op. Liber. X. Ep. LIL 

* The massa above mentioned was generally a farm or plantation. 


NOTE 35. 

Propter peccatum primi hominis humano generi poena divinitus illata est 
servitutis, ita ut quibus aspicit non congruere libertatem, his misericordius 
irroget servitutem. Et licet peccatum humanae originis per baptism! gratiam 
cunctis fidelibus dimissum sit, tamen sequus Deus ideo discrevit hominibus 
vitam, alios servos constituent, alios dominos : ut licentia male agendi servo- 
rum, potestate dominantium restringatur. Nam si omnes sine metu fuissent, 
quis esset qui a malis quempiam prohiberet ? Inde et in gentibus principes 
regesque electi sunt, ut terrore suo populos a malo coercerent, atque ad recte 
viveudum legibus subderent. Melior est subjecta servitus, quam elata liber- 
tas. Multi enim inveniuntur Deo libere servientes sub dominis flagitiosis, qui 
et si subjecti sunt illis corpore, praelati tamen sunt mente. Isidor. Hispal. 
Op. Om. JSentent. L. III. c. XLVII. p. 471. 

NOTE 36. 

Servus in clerum provehi sine voluntate dominorum, non permittimus, ad 
eorum qui possident molestiam, domorum enim eversionem talia efficiunt. 
Siquando autem, etiam dignus servus visus est, qui ad gradum eligatur, 
qualis noster quoque Onesimus visus est, et domini concesserint ac libera- 
verint, et sedibus emiserint, fiat. Can. Apostol. Can. LXXXI. 

NOTE 37. 

De famulis*quid amplius dicamus, quam quod servus habeat benevolentiam 
erga dominum cum timore Dei, quamvis sit impius, quamvis sit improbus, 
non tamen cum eo religione consentiat. Item dominus servum diligat, et 
quamvis praestet ei, judicet tamen esse sequalitatem, vel quatenus homo est. 
Q-ui autem habet dominum Christianum, salvo dominatu, diligat eum, turn ut 
dominum, turn ut fidei consortem et ut patrem, non sicut servus ad oculuni 
serviens, sed sicut dominum amans, ut qui sciat mercedem famulatus sui a 
Deo sibi solvendam esse. Similiter dominus, qui Christianum famulum 
habet, salvo famulatu, diligat cum tanquam filium, et tanquam fratrem prop- 
ter fidei communionem. Constit. Apostol. Clem. Lib. IV. ch. 5. 

NOTE 38. 

Si quis servum, praetextu divini cultus, doceat dominum contemnere pro- 
prium, ut discedat ab ejus obsequio, nee ei cum benevolentia ct omnihonore 
deserviat, anathema sit. Concilium Gangrense, A.D. 341. Hardouini 
Condi. Tom. 1, p. 534. 

NOTE 39. 

Si quos de servis ecelesiae bene meritos sibi episcopus libertate donaverit, 
collatam libertatem a successoribus placuit custodiri, cum hoc quod eis man- 
umissor in libertate conttlerit. Concilium Agathense, Can. VII. A.B. 506. 
Hardouini Con. Tom. 2, p 998. 


NOTE 40. 

Servus qui ad ecclesiam pro qualibet culpa confugerit, si a domino pro 
admissa culpa sacraraenta susciperet, statim ad servitium domini sui redire 
cogatur. Concilium Aurelianense 1, Can. III. A.D. 611. Hardouini Con. 

Tom. 2, p. 1009. 

NOTE 41. 

Si quia servum proprium sine conscientia judicis occiderit, excommunica- 
tionis biennii effusionem sanguinis expiabit. Concilium Epaonen&e^ Can. 
XXXIV. A.D. 517. Hardouini Con. Tom. 2, p. 1051. 

NOTE 42. 

Ut servis ecclesise, vel sacerdotum, praedas et captivitates exercere non 
L'ceat : quia iniquum est, ut quorum domini redemptionis praestare solent 
suffragium, per servorum excessum disciplina ecclesiastica maculetur. Con- 
cilium Aurelianense IV. Can. XXIII. A.D. 541. Hardouini Con. Tom. 2, 

p. 1439. 

NOTE 43. 

Ut servum, qui libertatem a dominis propriis non acceperit, aut etiam 
jam libertum, nullus episcopus absque ejus tantum voluntate, cujus aut 
servus est, aut eum absolvisse dignoscitur, clericum audeat ordinare. Con- 
cilium Aurelianense V. Can. VI. A.D. 649. Hard. Con. Tom. 2, p. 1444-5. 

NOTE 44. 

Idcirco praesenti concilio, Deo auctore, sancimus, ut nullus Christianus, 
Judseo deinceps debeat deservire, sed datis pro quolibet bono mancipio duo- 
decim solidis, ipsum mancipium quicumque Christianus, seu ad ingenuitatem, 
seu ad servitium, licentiam habeat redimendi ; quia nefas est, ut quos 
Christus Dominus sanguiuis sui efifusione redemit, persecutorum vinculis 
maneant irretiti. Quod si acquiescere his quae statuimus, quicumque 
Judaeus noluerit, quamdiu ad pecuniam constitutam venire distulerit, liceat 
mancipio ipsi cum Christianis, ubicumque voluerit, habitare. Concilium 
Matisconense 1, A.D. 581, Can. XVI. Hardouini Con. Tom. III. p. 453. 

NOTE 45. 

Quoniam cognovimus per multas civitates ecclesiarum servos, et episco- 
porum, vel omnium clericorum a judicibus vel actoribus publicis diversis 
angariis fatigari, omne concilium a pietate domini nostri poposcit, ut tales 
deinceps ausus inhibeat: sed servi suprascriptorum officiorum, in eorum 
usibus vel ecclesiae laborent. Con. Toletanum III. Can. XXL A.D. 589. 
Hard. Con. Tom. III. p. 483. 

NOTE 46. 

Ut omnis homo, tarn ingenuus, tarn servus, Gothus, Romanus, Syrus, 


Graecus, vel Judaeus, diei Dominico nullam opcram faciant, nee bovea 
jungantur ; excepto si in metando necessitas incubuerit. Quod si quisquara 
pisesumpserit facere, si ingenuus est, det comiti civitatis solidos sex ; si 
sorvus, centum flagella suscipiat. Concilium Narbonense, A.D. 689. Can. 
IV. Hardouini Con. Tom. III. p. 492. 

NOTE 47. 

Si quis servum suum ad altare manumiserit, liber esto, et habilis sit ad 
gaudendum hereditate et wirgildo, et fas sit ei ubi volet sine limite versari. 
Con. Berghamstedense, Can. IX. A.D. 697. Hard. Con. T. III. 1819. 

NOTE 48. 

Propter peccatum primi hominis, humano generi poena divinitus illata est 
servitutis : ita ut quibus aspicit non congruere libertatem, his misericordius 
irroget servitutem. Et licet peccatum humanaB originis, per baptisrai gra- 
tiam cunctis fidelibus dimissum sit, tamen aequus Deus ideo discrevit homini- 
bus vitam, alios servos constituens, alios dominos, ut licentia male agendi 
servorum, potestate dominantium restringatur. Non est personarum ac- 
ceptio apud Deum. TJnus enim Dominus aequaliter, et dominis refert con 
sultum, et servis. Melior est subjecta servitus, quam elata libertas. Multi 
enim inveniuntur Deo libere servientes, sub domiuis constituti flagitiosis : 
quo etsi subjecti sunt illis corpore, praelati tamen sunt mente. Condi. 
Aquisgranense Can. CIV. A.D. 816. Hard. Con. T. IV. p. 1115. 

NOTE 49. 

De servorum vero ordinatione, qui passim ad gradus ecclesiasticos indis- 
crete promoventur, placuit omnibus cum sacris canonibus concordari debere : 
et statutum est, ut nullus episcoporum deinceps eos ad sacros ordines pro- 
movere pra3sumat, nisi prius a dominis propriis libertatem consecuti fuerint. 
Et si quilibet servus dominum suum fugiens, aut latitans, aut adhibitis testi- 
bus munere conductis vel corruptis, aut qualibet calliditate vel fraude ad 
gradus ecclesiasticos pervenerit, decretum est ut deponatur, et dominus ejus 
recipiat. Jjudovici Pii Imperatoris Capitulare, anno imperil ejus editum. 
Hard. Con. Tom. IV. p. 1214. 

NOTE 50. 

Si quis servum proprium sine conscientia judicum, qui tale quid commis- 
erit, quod morte sit dignum, Occident, excommunicatione vel poenitentia 
biennii reatum sanguinis emundabit. Concilium Wormaiense, Can. 
XXXVIII. A.D. 868. Hard. Con. Tom. V. p. 743. 

NOTE 51. 

Si servus, absente vel nesciente domino suo, cpiscopo autcm sciente quod 
eervus sit, diaconus aut presbyter fuerit ordinatus, ipse in clericatus officio 


permaneat : episcopus tameu eum domino duplici satisfaction persolvat. Si 
vero episcopus eum servum esse nescieret et ita eum ad sacros ordines pro- 
movit, qui testimonium de illo perhibebant, aut eum postulabant ordinari, 
simili recompensatione teneantur obnoxii. Concilium Wbrmatense, Can. 
XL. A.D. 868. Hard. Con. Tom. V. p. 743. 

NOTE 52. 

Ne quis illud nefarium negotium quo hactenus in Anglia solebant homines 
sieut bruta animalia venundari, deinceps ullatenus facere prsesumat. 

NOTE 53. 

" Anselmus archiepiscopus Willelmo archidiacono dilecto suo, salutem et 

Sententias capitulorum concilii expositas, nolo vobis aut alicui ad praesens 
mittere: quia quando in ipso concilio expositae sunt, non potuerunt ad 
plenum et perfect^ recitari, propterea quia subito sine prsemeditatione, ac 
competent! tractatione, sicut oportuerat, sunt prolatae. Unde quaedam 
videntur addenda, et forsitan quaedam mutanda, quod non nisi communi 
consensu coepiscoporum nostrum volo facere. Volo ergo eas dictate, et 
prius eisdem episcopis ostendere, cum primo convenerimus, quam per eccle- 
sias Angliae dictates et expositae mittantur. Nomina tamen rerum, de quibus 
ibi locuti sumus, vobis mittimus, ut secundum quod recordari poteritis, noa 
de illis decrevisse faciatis." Then follows a list of subjects, but the topic of 
selling slaves is entirely omitted. Hard. Condi. Tom. VI. Pars. 2, p. 1863-6. 

NOTE 54. 

Nous avons encore le testament de S. Gregoire de Nazianze, en date de der- 
nier jour de Decembre de cette anne"e 381. II y prend le titre d'eveque de 
C. P. II conserve a une vierge nominee Russiene, la pension qu'il lui don- 
nait pour sa subsistence, avec une habitation a son choix, et lui donne deux 
filles esclaves, qu'elle choisira, pour demeurer avec elle toute sa vie : il lui 
donne pouvoir de les affranchir, si non elles appartiendront a 1'eglise de 
Nazianze. Hist. Ecc. de Fleury, Tome IV. p. 419-420. Ed. Paris. 1758. 

NOTE 55. 

Saint Perpetuus vecut jusqu'en 491, et nous avons son testament fait vers 
le premier de Mai, Tan 475, par lequel il affranchit plusieurs esclaves, remet 
a ses dcbiteurs tout ce qu'ils lui doivent, et legue a son eglise plusieurs 
fonds de terre, et ses livres Hist. Ecc. de Fleury, Tome VI. p. 555. Ed. 

Paris. 1758. 

NOTE 56. 

Alcuin avoit la disposition du revenu de ses abbayes, et comme leurs terrea 
etoient pi iplees de serfs, Elipand de Tolede lui reprochoit d'en avoir jus- 
qu'a vingt mille. Hist. Ecc. de Fleury, Tome X. p. 35. JSd Paris. 1758- 


NOTE 57. 

Dans le Concile de Soissons, tenu A.D. 853. " Les 6v6ques prioient le roi 
d'appuyer dl son autorite, et pour cet effet il publia dans la septieme ses- 
sion un capitulaire de douze articles. . . . Defense aux seigneurs d'empe- 
cher les eveques de faire battre de verges les colons ou paysans serfs sujeta 
des memes seigneurs, quand ils 1'auront merite pour leurs crimes. Hist. 
Ecc. de Fleury, Tome X. p. 471. Ed. Paris. 1758. 

NOTK 58. 

Apres cette preface, est le decret du pape (Benoit VIII. A.D. 1022,) divise 
en sept articles. II renouvelle la defense d'avoir ni femme ni concubine, et 
semble 1'etendre 4 tous les clercs sans exception. H declare que les enfans 
des clercs sont serfs de 1'eglise en laquelle servent leurs peres, quoique leurs 
meres soient libres, et prononce anatheme centre le juge qui les declarera 
libres. Aucun serf de 1'eglise, clerc ou lai'que, ne pourra faire aucune ac- 
quisition sous le nom d'un hornme libre, sous peine de fouet et de prison, 
jusqu'a ce que 1'eglise ait retire tous les titres de 1'acquisition. Hist. Ecc. 
de Fleury, Tome XII. p. 405. Ed. Paris. 1758. 

NOTE 59. 

In sexto capite initio servis praeceptum dat, ubi meminerint juniores com- 
munem regulam confirmari, quae saepe repetitur, Evangelium non abolet 
oeconomias et politias, sed concionatur de aliis rebus, videlicet de aeternia 
bonis, de aeterna justicia et vita, quam Deus efficit in cordibus hominum, 
quos tamen, Vult in hac vita mortali subjectos esse huic ordini, qui juxta 
voluntatem Dei convenit vitae corporali. Vult nos cibo et potu sustentari, 
vult esse legitima conjugia, et propagationem. Vult esse consociationera 
ordinariam generis humani, distinctionem dominiorum, defensionem per 
imperia, contractus, leges, judicia, pcenas. Ita hue videmus approbari servi- 
tutem, quails tune in legibus descripta fuit. Prodest autem et conscientiis et 
ad pacem intelligere hanc doctrinam de approbatione ordinis politici. Philip. 
Nelanlhonis, Com. in 1 Ep. ad Tim. 6:1. Ed. 1564. Pars IV. p. 422. 

NOTE 60. 

Quincunque sub jugoJ\ Quia sibi quisque praestantiam falsa opinione arro- 
gat, nemo est qui sequo animo ferat, alios sibi imperare. Qui effugere neces- 
sitatem nequeunt, parent illi quidem inviti superioribus : sed intus fremunt 
et indignantur, quia sibi putant fieri injuriam. Omnes ejusmodi disputationes 
uno verbo praecidit Apostolus, quum voluntariam subjectionem exigit ab 
omnibus qui sub jugo sunt. Significat enim non esse inquirendum sintne 
digni tali fortuna an meliore : q lia sufficiat hac conditione esse obstrictos. 
Calvirts Com. on 1 Tim. 6:1. 


NOTE 61. 

Ne Dei nomen.~\ Semper in nostrum commodum plusquam oporteret inge- 
niosi sumus. Ita servis si infideles habeant dominos, prompta est objectio, 
indignum esse ut, qui diabolo serviunt, imperent filiis Dei. Paulus autem 
in contrariam partem retorquet argumentum, ideo infidelibus dominis paren- 
dum esse, ne male audiat nomen Dei et Evangelium, quasi Evangelium con- 
tumaces reddat et praefractos, qui aliis subjecti esse debent. Ib. 

NOTE 62. 

Quanta fuerit gpiritus Paulini celsitudo, etsi ex gravioribus ejus scriptis 
perspici melius potest, haec quoque Epistola testis est, in qua argumentum 
tractans humile alias et abjeetum, suo tamen more sublimis ad Deum cvehitur. 
Fugitivum servum et furem Domino remittens, pro illo deprecatur veniam. 
Calvin 's Commentary on the Epistle to Philemon, introductory paragraph. 

NOTE 63. 

Prolegomena.'] Haec epistola novo genere a Paulo scripta est, et sola verfc 
proprieque epistola dici meretur. Ejus utilitas multiplex. Atonet enim 
nos. 1, neminem, quamvis imfimae sortis, contemnendum : 2, de servorum 
ingenio non esse desperandum : 3, Servos credentes in Christum non prop- 
terea liberos fieri, vet invitis eripi dominis : 4 r quodnam sit Episcopi officium, 
turn ergo inferiores, turn ergo nobiliores Scribendi causa erat, ut servum 
hero reconciliaret. Quod cum ei difficile videretur apud dominum justissimis 
de causis iratum, cum et servus, rebus uti creditur, ablatis, profugisset, omni 
orationis artificio eum aggreditur. Si quid in genere suasorio admirandum 
est, certe hoc epistolicum est. Poll Synopsis Criticorum, in Epist. Pauli 
ad Philemonem. 

NOTE 64. 

ServiJ] Non tollit morem tune receptum servis utendi : habet enim sua 
commoda, et licet eo recte uti. Docet libertatem Christianam consistere cum 
servitute politico,, et per Christum non tolli, nee mutari, status politicos. Poll 
Synopsis, in Epist. ad Ephesios 6:6. 

NOTE 65. 

1 Ep. ad Corinthos 1 : 21. Sedsipotes liber fieri, potius utere.] 1. Servi- 
tute utere : magls servias, majoris boni causa, scil, ad tuam exercitionem, et 
domini tui salutem. Syrus locum sic reddit. Sed etiamsi posses liber fieri, 
(tuis nempe artibus et fraudibus) elige tibi ut servias. Huic sensui optim6 
quadrat sequens ratio consolatoria. Nam qui servus vocatm est, libertus est 
Domini. Non tamen hoc voluit, ut servitutem praeferrent libertati ab heris 
sponte oblatce, sed h'bertati illegitimae per fugam, aut fraudem, etc. Poli 
Synopsis, in 1 Epist. ad Corinthos, 7. 


NOTE 66. 

Gen 9 : 25. Maledictus Canaan.] Quidam subaudiunt "^ pater. Pater 
Canaan. Ita Ar. quod paulo ante bis expression est. Alii accipiunt de 
Canaan. Hunc populum maledictum fuisse eventua docuit. Hinc proba- 
biliter colligitur eum fuisse paternae iniquitatis socium. Nee tamen Cham 
immunis est a maledictione, quia filius ejus nominatur ; sicut Semo bene- 
dicitur, vers. sequente quamvis Deus nominetur, et Jacob dicitur benedicere 
Josepho, Gen. 48 : 15, quia liberis ipsius benedixit, v. 16. Punitur parens 
in filio, sceleris conscio, forsan et auctore et indice, ut volunt Hebraei et 
Theodoretus. Quidam observant malediciase Noe posteritati Cham, sed 
omissis reliquis filiis Cham, singulariter de Canaan expressisse Mosen, quia 
tantum ea commemorasse voluit quae Israelitas confirmare et alacriores red- 
dere possent ad capessendam terram promissam Canaan. Poll Synopsis, 
in loco. 

NOTE 67. 

Servus Servorum,~\ i. e. Servus infimus et vilissimus. Ib. 

NOTE 68. 

Gen. 17 : 12. Tarn vernaculus quam emptitius.] Incircumcisus in terra 
Hebraorum vivere poterat sub bonis legibus, non item in domo Hebraei, 
ne mores exemplo confunderentur. Qu. An servi emptitii ad circumcisionem 
cogi poterant ? Affirmant multi ex hoc loco. Nam. 1. Servus est possessio 
domini. 2. Illud, circumcidetur, praeceptum est, quod elides, si subaudias 
si velit. 3. Alias nulla distinctio esset inter mercenarium et servum nam 
mercenariis permissa erat (non praecepta) circumcisio, Exod. 12 : 44. Negant 
alii. Existimant nullum adultum servum obligari ad circumcisionem suae 
aut prolis, nisi sponte consentiat. Nam sic sumenti (circumcisionem) im- 
poneretur peccandi necessitas, et juberetur hypocrisis. Nee talis circumcisio 
sacramentum esset Dei foederis, quod non nisi volentes amplectimur. Deni- 
que, vera religio suaderi debet, non imperari. Adde quod Maimonides sic 
explicat, de Circumcisione, cap. 1, sect. 6. Si quis (inquit) servum jam 
adultum a Cuthoeis comparavit, qui circumcidi nolit debet Cuthaeis iterum 
venundari. Poll Syn. 

NOTE 69. 

Exodus 20 : 10. Servus tuus.~] Nee labores illis injungas, nee eos laborare 
patiaris. Intelligitur hoc de iis qui non erant Judaei, nam qui Judaei per pre- 
cedentia erant prohibiti. Poli Syn. in loco. 

NOTE 70. 

Ib. 17. Non concupisses, etc.] His legis verbis maxime stabilitur dominium 
et proprietor rerum quas ne concupiscere licet, servitus praeterea et Iierilia 
potestas. Poli Syn. in loco. 


NOTE 11. 

Deuter. 23 : 15. Non trades servum, etc.] Agit de domino extraneo. Sic 
terra Israelitica asylum fit. Intellige de servis qui ab Ethnicis dominis, prop 
ter tyrannidem, confugiebant ad Israelitas, Judaism! amplectendi gratia. 
Poll Synopsis in loco. 

NOTE 72. 

Exod. 21 : 16. Qui furatus fiicrit hominem et vendiderit."] Nempe 
Israclitam. Patet ex Deut. 24 : 7. Quern .Tudaeus aliquis vi vel fraude per- 
trahere posset in servitutem, et Gentilibus divendere. Poll Syn. in loco. 

NOTE 73. 

Esdras 2c?, c. 65. Servi septem millia, etc.] Vide tenuem captivorum 
fortunam, cum tot millia non haberent plures servos. Poll Syn. in loco. 

NOTE 74. 

Qui post sanctum baptismum, duobus conjugiis fuerit implicitus, vel 
habuerit concubinam, non potest esse episcopus, vel presbyter, vel diaconus, 
vel omnino ex numero sacerdotali. Canones Apostolorum, Hardouini 
Concil. Tom. 1, p. 14. 

NOTE 75. 

Nemo debet duas uxores simul ducere, nee uxori SUJB alteram mulierem 
propter voluptatem et desiderium carnis subintroducere, projiciendo se in 
periculum peccandi, versando cum pluribus ad concupiscentiam, nee ad 
semen suscipiendum, sicut Deus ordinavit : et qui hoc fecerit, si fuerit 
sacerdos, prohibeatur ministerio sacrificandi, et communione fidelium, 
quousque ejiciat domo secundam : et debet retinere primam. Idem judicium 
est de laicis. Canon XXIV. Concilii Nicceni Versio Arabica. Hardouini 
Con. Tom. 1, p. 467, A. 

NOTE 76. 

Possit enim homo demittere sterilem uxorem, et ducere de qua filios 
habeat; et timen non licet, et nostris quidem jam temporibus ac more 
Romano, nee superinducere, ut amplius habeat quam unam viram. Au- 
gust'm. Op. Tom. VI. De Bono Conjugal^ p. 237, B. 

NOTE 77. 

De trigamis et polygamis definiere eumdem Canonem, quern et de digamis, 
eervata proportione, annum videlicet in digamis, alii vero duos annos. Tri- 
gamos autem tribus et saepe quatuor annis segregant. Basil. JSpistola 188, 
Canonica 1, Tom. III. p. 271, D. 


NOTE 78. 

Polygamiam Patres silentio praetermisere, ut belluinam, prorsusque ab hom- 
inum genere alienam. Basil Epist. 217, Canonica 3,. Tom. III. p. 329, (7. 

NOTE 79. 

From the volume of Captain Canot, published by Appleton & Co., 1854, 
I make the following extract, which gives a more graphic statement of the 
atrocities committed by the native Africans than many books of much 
greater pretension. See chapter LXI. p. 382-6. 

" During my first visit to Digby," saith our author, " I promised my 
trading friends that I would either return to their settlement, or at least 
send merchandise and a clerk to establish a factory." 

" There were two towns at Digby, governed by cousins, who had always 
lived in harmony. My mercantile venture, however, was unhappily des- 
tined to be the apple of discord between them. The establishment of so 
important an institution as a slave-factory within the jurisdiction of the 
younger savage, gave umbrage to the elder ; and in a very short time, this 
unlucky partiality ripened the noble kinsmen into bitter enemies." 

" It is not the habit in Africa for negroes to expend their wrath in harm- 
less words, so that preparations were soon made in each settlement for 
defence as well as hostility. Both towns were stockaded and carefully 
watched by sentinels, day and night. At times, forays were made into each 
other's suburbs, but as the chiefs were equally vigilant and alert, the ex- 
tent of harm was the occasional capture of women and children, as they 
wandered to the forest and stream for wood and water." 

" This dalliance, however, did not suit the ardor of my angry favorite. 
After waiting a couple of months, he purchase^ the aid of certain bushmen, 
headed by a notorious scoundrel named Jen-ken, who had acquired renown 
for his barbarous ferocity throughout the neighborhood. Jen-ken and hia 
chiefs were cannibals, and never trod the war-path without a pledge to re- 
turn laden with human flesh to gorge their households." 

" Several assaults were made by this savage and his bushmen on the dig- 
satisfied cousin, but as they produced no significant results, the barbarians 
withdrew to the interior. A truce ensued. Friendly proposals were made 
by the younger to the elder, and again a couple of months glided by in 
seeming peace." 

" Just at this time business called me to Gallinas. On my way hither 1 
looked in at Digby, intending to supply the displeased chieftain with goods 
and an agent, if I found the establishment profitable." 

" It was sunset when I reached the beach ; too late, of course, to land my 
merchandise, so that I postponed furnishing both places until the morning. 


As might, fairly be expected, there was abundant joy at my advent. The 
neglected rival was wild with satisfaction at the report that he, too, was at 
length favored with a 'white man.' His 'town' immediately became 
a scene of unbounded merriment. Powder was burnt without stint. 
Gallons of rum were distributed to both sexes ; and dancing, smoking, and 
carousing continued till long after midnight, when all stole off to maudlin 

" About three in the morning, the sudden screams of women and child- 
ren aroused me from profound torpor I Shrieks were followed by vol- 
leys of musketry. There was a loud tattoo of knocks at my door, and 
appeals from the negro chief to rise and fly. ' The tow:i was besieged 
the head-men were on the point of escaping resistance was vain they 
had been betrayed there were no fighters to defend the stockade.' " 

"I was opening the door to comply with this advice, when my Kroomen, 
who knew the country's ways even better than I, dissuaded me from de- 
parting, with the confident assurance that our assailants were unquestionably 
composed of the rival townsfolk, who had only temporarily discharged the 
bushmen to deceive my entertainer. The Kroos insisted that I had nothing 
to fear. We might, they said, be seized and even imprisoned ; but after 
a brief detention, the captors would be glad enough to accept our ran- 
som. If we fled, we might be slaughtered by mistake." 

" I had so much confidence in the sense and fidelity of the band that al- 
ways accompanied me partly as boatmen and partly as body-guard that I 
experienced very little personal alarm when I heard the shouts as the 
savages rushed through the town, murdering every one they encountered. 
In a few moments our own door was battered down by the barbarians, 
and Jen-ken, torch in hand, made his appearance, claiming us as prison- 

" Of course, we submitted without resistance, for although fully armed, 
the odds were so great in those ante-revolver days, that we should have 
been overwhelmed by a single wave of the infuriated crowd. The barbarian 
chief instantly selected our house for his headquarters, and dispatched hia 
followers to complete their task. Prisoner after prisoner was thrust in. 
At times the heavy mash of a war-club and the cries of strangling women, 
gave notice that the work of death was not yet ended. But the night of 
horror wore away. The gray dawn crept through our hovel's bars, and all 
was still, save the groans of wounded captives, and the wailing of women 
and children." 

" By degrees, the warriors dropped in around their chieftain. A. palaver* 
house, immediately in front of my quarters, was the general rendezvous ; 
and scarcely a bushman appeared without the body of some maimed and 


bleeding victim. The mangled but living captives were tumbled on a heap 
in the centre, and soon every avenue to the square was crowded with ex- 
ulting savages. Hum was brought forth in abundance for the chiefs. Pre- 
sently, slowly approaching from a distance, I heard the drums, horns, and 
war-bells ; and in less than fifteen minutes, a procession of women, whose 
naked limbs were smeared with chalk and ochre, poured into the palaver- 
house to join the beastly rites. Each of these devils was armed with a 
knife, and bore in her hand some cannibal trophy. Jen-ken's wife, a ^cor- 
pulent wench of forty-five, dragged along the ground, by a single limb, 
the slimy corpse of an infant ripped alive from its mother's womb. As 
her eyes met those of her husband, the two fiends yelled forth a shout 
of mutual joy, while the lifeless babe was tossed in the air and caught, as it 
descended, upon the point of a spear. Then came the refreshment, in the 
shape of rum, powder, and blood, which was quaffed by the brutes till 
they reeled off, with linked hands, in a wild dance around the pile of 
victims. As the women leaped and sang, the men applauded and encour- 
aged. Soon the ring was broken, and with a yell, each female leaped on 
the body of a wounded prisoner, and commenced the final sacrifice with the 
mockery of lascivious embraces !" 

" In my wanderings in African forests, I have often seen the tiger pounce 
upon its prey, and with instinctive thirst, satiate its appetite for blood, and 
abandon the drained corpse ; but these African negresses were neither as 
decent nor as merciful as the beast of the wilderness. Their malignant 
pleasure seemed to consist in the invention of tortures that would agonize, 
but not slay. There was a devilish spell in the tragic scene that fascinated 
my eyes to the spot. A slow, lingering, tormenting mutilation was prac- 
tised on the living as well as on the dead ; and, in every instance, the 
brutality of the women exceeded that of the men. I can not picture the 
hellish joy with which they passed from body to body, digging out eyes, 
wrenching off lips, tearing the ears, and slicing the flesh from the quiver- 
ing bones ; while the queen of the harpies crept amid the butchery, gath- 
ering the brains from each several skull as a bonne louche for the approaching 
feast 1" 

" After the last victim yielded his life, it did not require long to kindle a 
fire, produce the requisite utensils, and fill the air with the odor of human 
flesh. Yet, before the various masses were half broiled, every mouth was 
tearing the dainty morsels with shouts of joy, denoting the combined satis- 
faction of revenge and appetite ! In the midst of this appalling scene, I 
heard a fresh cry of exultation, as a pole was borne into the apartment, on 
which was impaled the living body of the conquered chieftain's wife. A 
hole was qui ?kly dug, the stave planted, and fagots supplied ; but before 


a fire could be kindled, the wretched woman was dead, so that the bar- 
barians were defeated in their hellish scheme of burning her alive." 

" I do not know how long these brutalities lasted, for I remember very 
little after this last attempt, except that the bushmen packed in plaintain 
leaves whatever flesh was left from the orgie, to be conveyed to their 
friends in the forest. This was the first time it had been my lot to behold 
the most savage development of African nature under the stimulus of war. 
The butchery made me sick, dizzy, paralyzed. I sank on the earth be- 
numbed with stupor ; nor was I aroused till nightfall, when my Kroomen 
bore me to the conqueror's town, and negotiated our redemption for the 
value of twenty slaves." 

I had prepared a large number of other extracts from the works of the 
missionary, Rev. Mr. Moffat, of Dr. Livingstone, and especially of Captain 
Burton, whose book, entitled, TJie Lake Regions of Central Africa, presents, 
in the last chapter, the fullest and most satisfactory account of African char- 
acter and habits that I have seen. But I have already exceeded the limits 
allotted to this volume, and shall only say, in conclusion, that I am not able 
to conceive how any Christian can seriously reflect on the awful depravity, 
the dark heathenism, the gross licentiousness, the cruel ferocity, and the 
worse than brutish degradation of the posterity of Ham, in their native coun- 
try, and yet denounce, as a sin, the Southern institution, which has been the 
only means to raise millions out of that terrible abyss, and endow them with 
the knowledge of civilization, and of morality, founded on true religion. 
For my own part, as a friend to the negro race, and to the best interests of 
Africa, I cannot hesitate to regard it as a dispensation of Providence ; through 
which the noble enterprise of the American Colonization Society, commenc- 
ing with Liberia, will furnish, in due time, the best and most available instru- 
mentality for the ultimate regeneration of that benighted continent. In the 
accomplishment of this grand design, the descendants of Canaan will have 
the largest scope for the development of all their faculties and powers. And 
looking forward to the result, which, sooner or later, will be effected, I 
consider the Constitution of the United States to be, not a " covenant with 
death, and an agreement with hell," but rather a covenant with life, and an 
agreement with the final purpose of divine mercy, for countless generations. 

E Hopkins, John Henry, 

449 Bp., 1792-1868 

H79 A scriptural, 

ecclesiastical, and historical 
view of slavery, from the days 
of the patriarch Abraham, to 
the nineteenth century. 

W. I. Pooley 
( C 1864 3 )